The risks we focus on
We are currently concerned by four major risks. All four hinge on the development, use and governance of transformative technologies. We focus our efforts on guiding the impacts of these technologies.
From recommender algorithms to self-driving cars, AI is changing our lives. As the impact of this technology magnifies, so will its risks.
From the accidental release of engineered pandemics to the backfiring of a gene-editing experiment, the dangers from biotechnology are too great for us to proceed blindly.
Almost eighty years after their introduction, the risks posed by nuclear weapons are as high as ever - and new research reveals that the impacts are even worse than previously reckoned.
Likely the most well-known of our cause areas, climate change increases the likelihood of other catastrophic risks, such as pandemics or war, as well as posing many catastrophic threats on its own.
How we are addressing these issues
There are many potential levers of change for steering the development and use of transformative technologies. We target a range of these levers to increase our chances of success.
We perform policy advocacy in the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations.Learn more
We produce educational materials aimed at informing public discourse, as well as encouraging people to get involved.Learn more
We provide grants to individuals and organisations working on projects that further our mission.Learn more
We convene leaders of the relevant fields to discuss ways of ensuring the safe development and use of powerful technologies.Learn more
What we're working on
Read about some of our ongoing projects:
Avoiding nuclear war is in the national security interest of all nations. We pursue a range of initiatives to reduce this risk. Our current focus is on mitigating the emerging risk of AI integration into nuclear command, control and communication.
Every year, the Future of Life Award is given to one or more unsung heroes who have made a significant contribution to preserving the future of life.
Military AI applications are rapidly expanding. We develop educational materials about how certain narrow classes of AI-powered weapons can harm national security and destabilize civilization, notably weapons where kill decisions are fully delegated to algorithms.
Our key recommendations include broadening the Act’s scope to regulate general purpose systems and extending the definition of prohibited manipulation to include any type of manipulatory technique, and manipulation that causes societal harm.
Our feedback on the first draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) AI risk management framework addressed extreme and unacceptable risks, loyalty of AI systems and the risk management of general purpose systems.
A podcast dedicated to hosting conversations with some of the world's leading thinkers and doers in the field of emerging technology and risk reduction. 140+ episodes since 2015, 4.8/5 stars on Apple Podcasts.
The Future of Life Institute accepted entries from teams across the globe, to compete for a prize purse of up to $100,000 by designing visions of a plausible, aspirational future that includes strong artificial intelligence.
Meet our External Advisors
We consult a range of scientific experts and communicators across our cause areas to ensure our approach is well-informed, strategic and adaptable.
Alan AldaView profile
Alan GuthView profile
Christof KochView profile
Elon MuskView profile
Erik BrynjolfssonView profile
Francesca RossiView profile
Frank WilczekView profile
George ChurchView profile
Martin ReesView profile
Morgan FreemanView profile
Nick BostromView profile
Sandra FaberView profile
Saul PerlmutterView profile
Stuart RussellView profile
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Read previous editions
Welcome to the Future of Life Institute Newsletter. Every month, we bring 24,000+ subscribers the latest news on how emerging technologies […]
November 11, 2022
Welcome to the FLI newsletter! Every month, we bring 24,000+ subscribers the latest news on how emerging technologies are transforming our world - for better and worse.
October 17, 2022
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December 1, 2022
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