[ExI] Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University £1 million grant for AI

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 10:42:42 UTC 2015

On 3 July 2015 at 20:23, J. Andrew Rogers  wrote:
> Reading over the abstracts, it appears the selection bias in who submitted
> proposals creates a disconnect between assumptions about the
> state-of-the-art and actual state-of-the-art. In at least a few cases, the
> researchers are insufficiently familiar with the domain they are nominally
> researching as evidenced in the abstract.
> Some of the funded projects seem quite reasonable but the list reflects
> either an overly limited selection to choose from — fishing in the wrong
> pond — or a naivete on the part of the selectors as to the state of some of
> these areas. The absence of people doing relevant advanced computer science
> R&D in the list is going to produce some giant blind spots in the aggregate
> output.

Just a small comment -
The grants are not aimed directly at the latest state-of-the-art AI research.

The grants were for the goal of keeping AI development "robust and beneficial."

Business Insider has some comments:

A group of scientists just got awarded $7 million to find ways to
ensure artificial intelligence doesn't turn out evil.

The Boston-based Future of Life Institute (FLI), a nonprofit dedicated
to mitigating existential risks to humanity, announced last week that
37 teams were being funded with the goal of keeping AI "robust and

Most of that funding was donated by Elon Musk, the billionaire
entrepreneur behind SpaceX and Tesla Motors. The remainder came from
the nonprofit Open Philanthropy Project.

Musk is one of a growing cadre of technology leaders and scientists,
including Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates, who believe that artificial
intelligence poses an existential threat to humanity. In January, the
Future of Life Institute released an open letter — signed by Musk,
Hawking and dozens of big names in AI — calling for research on ways
to keep AI beneficial and avoid potential "pitfalls." At the time,
Musk pledged to give $10 million in support of the research.

********** The teams getting funded were selected from nearly 300
applicants to pursue projects in fields ranging from computer science
to law to economics. **********


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