FLI March, 2020 Newsletter

Toby Ord’s The Precipice, Lethal Autonomous Weapons & More

Toby Ord’s “The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity” has emerged as a new cornerstone text in the field of existential risk. The book presents the foundations and recent developments of this budding field from an accessible vantage point, providing an overview suitable for newcomers. For those already familiar with existential risk, Toby brings new historical and academic context to the problem, along with central arguments for why existential risk matters, novel quantitative analysis and risk estimations, deep dives into the risks themselves, and tangible steps for mitigation. “The Precipice” thus serves as both a tremendous introduction to the topic and a rich source of further learning for existential risk veterans. Toby joins us on this episode of the Future of Life Institute Podcast to discuss this definitive work on what may be the most important topic of our time. Listen here.

You can find all the FLI Podcasts here and all the AI Alignment Podcasts here. Or listen on SoundCloudiTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher.

Lethal autonomous weapons represent the novel miniaturization and integration of modern AI and robotics technologies for military use. This emerging technology thus represents a potentially critical inflection point in the development of AI governance. Whether we allow AI to make the decision to take human life and where we draw lines around the acceptable and unacceptable uses of this technology will set precedents and grounds for future international AI collaboration and governance. Such regulation efforts or lack thereof will also shape the kinds of weapons technologies that proliferate in the 21st century. On this episode of the AI Alignment Podcast, Paul Scharre joins us to discuss autonomous weapons, their potential benefits and risks, and the ongoing debate around the regulation of their development and use. Listen here.

National AI Initiative Act

The Future of Life Institute is proud to support the National AI Initiative Act (HR 6216) introduced by the House Science Committee. The act will help ensure the safe and ethical research, development, and use of AI technologies to maximize their benefits for all of humanity. Learn more here.