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Our mission

Steering transformative technology towards benefitting life and away from extreme large-scale risks.

We believe that the way powerful technology is developed and used will be the most important factor in determining the prospects for the future of life. This is why we have made it our mission to ensure that technology continues to improve those prospects.
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Our mission

Ensuring that our technology remains beneficial for life

Our mission is to steer transformative technologies away from extreme, large-scale risks and towards benefiting life.
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How certain technologies are developed and used has far-reaching consequences for all life on earth.

If properly managed, these technologies could change the world in a way that makes life substantially better, both for those alive today and those who will one day be born. They could be used to treat and eradicate diseases, strengthen democratic processes, mitigate - or even halt - climate change and restore biodiversity.

If irresponsibly managed, they could inflict serious harms on humanity and other animal species. In the most extreme cases, they could bring about the fragmentation or collapse of societies, and even push us to the brink of extinction.

The Future of Life Institute works to reduce the likelihood of these worst-case outcomes, and to help ensure that transformative technologies are used to the benefit of life.
Our mission

Cause areas

The risks we focus on

We are currently concerned by three major risks. They all hinge on the development, use and governance of transformative technologies. We focus our efforts on guiding the impacts of these technologies.

Artificial Intelligence

From recommender algorithms to chatbots to self-driving cars, AI is changing our lives. As the impact of this technology grows, so will the risks.
Artificial Intelligence

Biotechnology

From the accidental release of engineered pathogens to the backfiring of a gene-editing experiment, the dangers from biotechnology are too great for us to proceed blindly.
Biotechnology

Nuclear Weapons

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.
Nuclear Weapons
UAV Kargu autonomous drones at the campus of OSTIM Technopark in Ankara, Turkey - June 2020.

Our work

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.

Policy

We perform policy advocacy in the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations.
Our Policy work

Outreach

We produce educational materials aimed at informing public discourse, as well as encouraging people to get involved.
Our Outreach work

Grantmaking

We provide grants to individuals and organisations working on projects that further our mission.
Our Grant Programs

Events

We convene leaders of the relevant fields to discuss ways of ensuring the safe development and use of powerful technologies.
Our Events

Featured Projects

What we're working on

Read about some of our current featured projects:

Protecting Against Deepfakes

2024 is rapidly turning into the Year of Fake. As part of a growing coalition of concerned organizations, FLI is calling on lawmakers to take meaningful steps to disrupt the AI-driven deepfake supply chain.

Perspectives of Traditional Religions on Positive AI Futures

Most of the global population participates in a traditional religion. Yet the perspectives of these religions are largely absent from strategic AI discussions. This initiative aims to support religious groups to voice their faith-specific concerns and hopes for a world with AI, and work with them to resist the harms and realise the benefits.

The Elders Letter on Existential Threats

The Elders, the Future of Life Institute and a diverse range of preeminent public figures are calling on world leaders to urgently address the ongoing harms and escalating risks of the climate crisis, pandemics, nuclear weapons, and ungoverned AI.

Realising Aspirational Futures – New FLI Grants Opportunities

We are opening two new funding opportunities to support research into the ways that artificial intelligence can be harnessed safely to make the world a better place.

AI Convergence: Risks at the Intersection of AI and Nuclear, Biological and Cyber Threats

The dual-use nature of AI systems can amplify the dual-use nature of other technologies—this is known as AI convergence. We provide policy expertise to policymakers in the United States in three key convergence areas: biological, nuclear, and cyber.

Strengthening the European AI Act

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.

Educating about Lethal Autonomous Weapons

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.

Global AI governance at the UN

Our involvement with the UN's work spans several years and initiatives, including the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and the Global Digital Compact (GDC).

Worldbuilding Competition

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.

Future of Life Award

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.
View all projects

newsletter

Regular updates about the technologies shaping our world

Every month, we bring 41,000+ subscribers the latest news on how emerging technologies are transforming our world. It includes a summary of major developments in our cause areas, and key updates on the work we do. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these highlights at the end of each month.

Future of Life Institute Newsletter: Notes on the AI Seoul Summit

Recapping the AI Seoul Summit, OpenAI news, updates on the EU's regulation of AI, new worldbuilding projects to explore, policy updates, and more.
May 31, 2024

Future of Life Institute Newsletter: Building Momentum on Autonomous Weapons

Summarizing recent updates on the push for autonomous weapons regulation, new polling on AI regulation, progress on banning deepfakes, policy updates from around the world, and more.
May 3, 2024

Future of Life Institute Newsletter: A pause didn’t happen. So what did?

Reflections on the one-year Pause Letter anniversary, the EU AI Act passes in EU Parliament, updates from our policy team, and more.
April 2, 2024
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Our content

Latest posts

The most recent posts we have published:

A Catholic Vision for a Positive Future with Divine, Human, and Artificial Intelligence

"AI ought to be designed to respect human freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other important freedoms, but with the constant awareness that objective moral truths do exist and also must be respected."
June 18, 2024

Future of Life Institute Statement on the Pope’s G7 AI Speech

Max Tegmark provides a response to the Pope's remarks on autonomous weapons to G7 leaders.
June 18, 2024

Evaluation of Deepfakes Proposals in Congress

How do the leading US legislative proposals on the issue of deepfakes compare?
May 31, 2024

A Hindu Perspective on AI Risks and Opportunities

"A positive future with AI entails leveraging its capabilities to enhance human welfare, promote sustainability, and advance spiritual evolution."
May 20, 2024
View all posts

Policy papers

The most recent policy papers we have published:

Turning Vision into Action: Implementing the Senate AI Roadmap

June 2024

Recommended Amendments to Legislative Proposals on Deepfakes

May 2024

FLI Response to OMB: Request for Information on Responsible Procurement of Artificial Intelligence in Government

April 2024

Competition in Generative AI: Future of Life Institute’s Feedback to the European Commission’s Consultation

March 2024
View all policy papers

Future of Life Institute Podcast

The most recent podcasts we have broadcast:
View all episodes

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