Stuart Russell received his B.A. with first-class honours in physics from Oxford University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford in 1986. He then joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, where he is Professor (and formerly Chair) of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, holder of the Smith-Zadeh Chair in Engineering, and Director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery at UC San Francisco and as Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum's Council on AI and Robotics.

His book "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach" (with Peter Norvig) is the standard text in AI; it has been translated into 14 languages and is used in over 1400 universities in 128 countries.

His current concerns include the threat of autonomous weapons and the long-term future of artificial intelligence and its relation to humanity.