|Type||Non-profit research institute|
|Purpose||Reduction of existential risk, particularly from advanced artificial intelligence|
The Future of Life Institute (FLI) is a nonprofit organization that works to reduce global catastrophic and existential risks facing humanity, particularly existential risk from advanced artificial intelligence (AI). The Institute's work is made up of three main strands: grantmaking for risk reduction, educational outreach, and advocacy within the United Nations, US government and European Union institutions. Its founders include MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and its advisors include entrepreneur Elon Musk.
FLI's mission is reduce global catastrophic and existential risk from powerful technologies. FLI is particularly focused on the potential risks to humanity from the development of human-level or superintelligent artificial general intelligence (AGI), but also works on risks from biotechnology, nuclear weapons and climate change. The Institute's work is made up grantmaking for risk reduction, educational outreach, and advocacy within the United Nations, US government and European Union institutions.
The Institute was founded in March 2014 by MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, DeepMind research scientist Viktoriya Krakovna, Tufts University postdoctoral scholar Meia Chita-Tegmark, and UCSC physicist Anthony Aguirre. The Institute's advisors include computer scientists Stuart J. Russell and Francesca Rossi, biologist George Church, cosmologist Saul Perlmutter, astrophysicist Sandra Faber, theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek, entrepreneur Elon Musk, and actors and science communicators Alan Alda and Morgan Freeman (as well as cosmologist Stephen Hawking prior to his death in 2018).
In 2014, the Future of Life Institute held its opening event at MIT: a panel discussion on "The Future of Technology: Benefits and Risks", moderated by Alan Alda. The panelists were synthetic biologist George Church, geneticist Ting Wu, economist Andrew McAfee, physicist and Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.
Since 2015, FLI has organised biannual conferences that bring together leading AI builders from academia and industry. To date, the following conferences have taken place:
The FLI research program started in 2015 with an initial donation of $10 million from Elon Musk. Unlike typical AI research, this program is focused on making AI safer or more beneficial to society, rather than just more powerful. In this initial round, a total of $7 million was awarded to 37 research projects. In July 2021, FLI announced that it would launch a new $25 million grant program with funding from the Russian–Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin.
The private gathering at the Asilomar Hotel was organized by the Future of Life Institute, a think tank built to discuss the existential risks of A.I. and other technologies.