Support the Future of Life Institute

The story of FLI began in 2014 with a desire to develop positive visions for the future of life enabled by technological stewardship.  Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence will bring ever grander opportunities – and challenges – and our goal is to ensure that the growing power of our technology is matched by growing wisdom for managing it. Our focus as an organization is on anticipating and addressing potential existential risks caused by  future technology, from nuclear and biotech to AI, to safeguard our global climate and prosperity and enable a truly inspiring future of life.

The continued existence of life on Earth is a goal we can all get behind, but there are real threats that put our future at risk. The Future of Life Institute is one of the only organizations in the world working directly to diminish those threats. As a small nonprofit, FLI relies 100% on donations to fund our work. While we’re fortunate to have received some large donations to tackle big problems, those donations are often designated for specific projects and/or re-granted as research grants, leaving very little general purpose funding. (If you’re interested in how our funding is allocated, please see our annual reports: 2015201620172018). As we seek to educate more people about the threat of existential risks and to develop and implement new and unique solutions, we need your help.

At FLI, our list of project ideas is longer than the number of hours we have in a day. More funding would empower us to grow and execute more of them. Below is a summary of the kind of work we have done so far as an organization and the type of projects your donations might help support in the future.

Outreach Efforts

  • Max Tegmark gives a Ted Talk “How to get empowered, not overpowered, by AI”

  • Together with AI researcher and FLI advisor Stuart Russell, FLI released a short film demonstrating the dangers of a world with lethal autonomous weapons. The film won a Gold Medal for best viral film at the Cannes Festival.

  • FLI Podcast Episode with Yuval Noah Harari On Consciousness, Morality & Effective Altruism

FLI produces educational content about how to reap the benefits from emerging technologies without the existential threats. Our outreach team members can use your support to write articles, produce graphics, release regular podcast episodes, and make videos for our Youtube channel.

Policy Efforts

Since our inception in 2014, FLI has led and participated in numerous efforts to improve the governance of AI and nuclear technologies nationally and internationally, in both the private and public sectors. Our activities have ranged from the development of the 2017 Asilomar AI Principles, signed by thousands of leading minds in AI research and industry, to supporting the UN Secretary General as the civil society “champion” on recommendations AI recommendations in the 2020 Digital Cooperation Roadmap, to providing formal input on regulations and government policy proposals in the US and internationally. We organized an open letter from thousands of scientists in support of UN efforts to reduce nuclear war risk, and another from thousands of AI researchers in support of limits on lethal autonomous weapons, which we’ve also educated about in the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons (UN CCW) and in other global venues.

  • Delivering an open letter signed by more than 3000 scientists who support the UN Nuclear Ban Negotiations.

  • FLI’s seat at the UN CCCW meeting in Geneva discussing the governance and future of Lethal Autonomous Weapons.

  • AI briefing in April 2019 at the California State Capitol. From left to right – Steven Weber, FLI’s AI Policy Specialist Jessica Newman, Brandie Nonnecke, Assemblymembers Kevin Kiley and Edwin Chau, and FLI President Max Tegmark.

Events and other Organizational Work

  • BAGI 2019 in Puerto Rico featured presentations and workshops on Beneficial Artificial General Intelligence

  • Speakers for BAGI 2017 included Elon Musk, Demis Hassabis, Sam Harris and Ray Kurzweil

  • Anthony Aguirre gives a presentation at BAGI 2019

  • Groups of great minds ponder AI principles in Asilomar.

  • Future of Life Award Ceremonies in 2018, presenting Stanislav Petrov’s family with the prize

Your support can empower our team in their year-round organizational work. Since 2015, FLI has hosted three large conferences and a number of smaller workshops with the goal of creating a community around the safe development of AI. We helped kick-start AI Safety Research by launching the first-ever peer-reviewed AI safety grant program in 2015 which has now funded forty-seven research teams with close to $9 million to figure out how AI can be kept safe and beneficial. Since 2017,  FLI has awarded the annual Future of Life Award, a $50,000 prize given to an individual who, without receiving much recognition at the time, has helped make today dramatically better than it may otherwise have been; the first three winners helped prevent two nuclear wars and one bioweapon arms race. Organizing such events involves substantial behind-the-scenes preparation which is unglamorous and hard for us to get funding for –  your support can enable us to make worthwhile events happen.

Our Mission

In summary, we are a charity and outreach organization working to ensure that tomorrow’s most powerful technologies help rather than harm humanity. With less powerful technologies such as fire, we learned to minimize risks largely by learning from mistakes. With more powerful technologies such as nuclear weapons, synthetic biology and future strong artificial intelligence, planning ahead is a better strategy than learning from mistakes, so please support us so that we can support research and other efforts aimed at avoiding such problems and enabling life to flourish like never before.

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In order to make an offline donation we ask that you please follow these instructions:

  1. Make a check payable to “Future of Life Institute”
  2. On the memo line of the check, please indicate that the donation is for “Future of Life Institute”
  3. Please mail your check to:

Future of Life Institute
701 E Cathedral Rd Ste 45 PMB 456
Philadelphia, PA 19128

Please include a note with an email address or mailing address so we can provide a tax receipt.

FLI is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, so your donations will be tax exempt in the United States. If you need our organization number (EIN) for your tax return, it\’s 47-1052538.

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