piero scaruffi, amateur human being
and professional free thinker, is also a:
graduated in Mathematics (summa cum laude) in 1982 from
University of Turin, where he did work in General Theory of
For a number of years he was the founding director of the Artificial Intelligence Center
at Olivetti, based in Cupertino, California, and later joined IntelliCorp,
one of the earliest companies specializing in Artificial Intelligence.
He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University and
research on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, has
lectured in three continents on
"The Nature of Mind" and
"History of Knowledge"
(for many years at U.C. Berkeley), and has
published a number of books as
well as hundreds of articles for magazines both in Italy and the U.S.
"Thinking About Thought" (2015 edition), in four volumes, is his most recent book on Cognitive Science.
"Intelligence is not Artificial" (2015) is a book on Artificial Intelligence, the Singularity and the post-human condition.
The readers for one of his U.C. Berkeley courses were compiled in the eBook "A Brief History of Knowledge" (2011).
As a software consultant, he pioneered Internet applications,
Artificial Intelligence and Object-Orientated design in Silicon Valley.
He also co-wrote a massive "History of Silicon Valley" (2012), that was later translated in Chinese (2014)
and voted seventh most influential book of the year.
All along he has also continued writing
poetry both in Italian (for which he has been awarded several prizes) and in English (the latest poetry award was from Fog City Writers in 2007).
"Synthesis" (2009) collects poems and meditations.
He pioneered Internet-based journalism.
In 1985 he created his first e-zine, distributed by e-mail over the Internet.
Between 1986 and 1990 he created an online database, downloadable via ftp.
That database mutated into his own website in 1995, one of the first websites inthe world to be named after the person writing it:
On 15 Oct 2006 the New York Times ran an article about piero's website www.scaruffi.com titled "The Greatest Website of all Times".
In July 2017 the Telegraph listed scaruffi.com as "the oldest webpage that is still being updated".
He is probably more famous on the Web as a critic and historian of rock, jazz and avantgarde music. His main books on music are:
"A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009),
"A History of Jazz Music 1900-2000" (2007),
"A History of Popular Music before Rock Music" (2007),
and a guide to avantgarde music (out of print and being revised on the website).
He also writes regularly about
In 2012 he published three ebooks on the Visual Arts:
"A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 1: From Impressionism to Surrealism" and
"A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 2: From Abstract Art to Conceptual Art";
which were followed by
"A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 3: The Age of Globalization (2013).
He has organized several interdisciplinary cultural events in the Bay Area. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evenings (LASERs) https://www.leonardo.info/laser-talks in january 2008 under the aegis of Leonardo ISAST, a series that spread to more than 30 universities worldwide. By 2017 LASERs were being held at University of San Francisco, Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley (all three chaired by him in person), in Washington DC at the National Academy of Science, in London, Paris, Zurich, Toronto, Montreal, Brazil, Hong Kong, as well as at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, in New York, Texas, Kansas, Seattle, etc.
Stanford hosted an interdisciplinary panel with scientists, thinkers, innovators and artists that became the SMMMASH (Stanford Multimedia Multidisciplinary Meetings of the Arts, Sciences and Humanities) in 2012.
In 2014 he founded the LAST (Life Art Science Tech) festival www.lastfestival.org, that has been staged in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Stanford Univ, at San Jose State University in 2017, and at SLAC National Laboratory in 2018.
During the covid-19 pandemic, he started the L.A.S.T. Dialogues on the Zoom platform.
Four of his books have been translated in China. A three-volume update of the "History of Silicon Valley" came out in 2016. The Chinese translation of "Intelligence is not Artificial" came out in early 2017, followed by a book written directly in Chinese with Jinxia Niu titled "Humankind 2.0 - The Technologies of the Future", followed by another collaboration with Jinxia Niu titled "Peace Technology" (2019). He has lectured extensively in China since 2015 (click here for more details).
In 2017 he worked on a project with the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab, which is the subject of a new book collaboration with his wife Jinxia Niu.
An avid traveler who spends months on the road, piero had visited
more than 160 countries of the world as of 2016.
Pictures of his travels have been published by magazines and used by the BBC in its series "Waking the Dead".
According to this publication, his website is the oldest website that is still active.
Some public videos of his talks::
- Interviewed by Mark O'Loughling on "Deep Learning vs Deep Thinking" (June 2020)
- Interviewed from outer space by Javier Ideame on AI, philosophy, art, creativity, Silicon Valley, May 2020
- Qbay interview by Brian Sparkes on AI, bioscience, etc, Apr 2020
- The state of Deep Learning, Honolulu, Jan 2020
- "The Two Cultures in the age of A.I." at Univ of San Francisco/ Humanities & AI/ Deep Learning vs Deep Thinking (2019)
- "Intelligence is not Artificial" at Xerox PARC, August 2017
- Interviewed in Silicon Valley, July 2019 (Silicon Valley Podcast)
- The Future of Technology at Qingdao's Venture Capital Conference, May 2019 (my talk begins at 147:35)
- Interviewed in San Francisco, February 2019
- "The Status and Limits of Artificial Intelligence" at the World Congress on A.I., Tianjin, China, June 2017
- "Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity" in Beijing, May 2016 [slides)
- Dan Schneider interview, 2015
- "Silicon Valley" (May 2015) for the China Innovation Summit 2015
- Interviewed on Silicon Valley by a Chinese magazine (June 2015)
- The Future of News Media, Beijing, 2016
- PCMag interview, 2018 (text only)
(on a mountain in his favorite red pants)
(piero in Zambia)
(piero in Pt Reyes)