Li is a Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and a Co-Director of the Stanford Vision and Learning Lab. She served as the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 2013 to 2018.
In 2017, she co-founded AI4ALL, a nonprofit organization working to increase diversity and inclusion in the field of artificial intelligence. Her research expertise includes artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and cognitive neuroscience.
Li was born in Beijing, China in 1976 and she was 12 when her father moved to the US. When she was 16, she and her mother joined him in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey
Li majored in physics but also studied computer science and engineering as an undergraduate student at Princeton University, from where she graduated with high honors with an A.B. in physics and certificates in applied and computational mathematics and engineering physics in 1999.
Li then pursued graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, where she received a PhD. in electrical engineering in 2005. Her graduate studies were supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.
From 2005 to August 2009, Li was an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Computer Science Department at Princeton University, respectively. On her sabbatical from Stanford University from January 2017 to fall of 2018, Li joined Google Cloud as its Chief Scientist of AI/ML and Vice President.
In 2018, AI4ALL has successfully launched five more summer programs in addition to Stanford, including Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University, U. of California Berkeley, and Canada’s Simon Fraser University.