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Essentials

Essential reading

We have written a few articles that we believe all people interested in our cause areas should read. They provide a more thorough exploration than you will find on our cause area pages.

Benefits & Risks of Biotechnology

Over the past decade, progress in biotechnology has accelerated rapidly. We are poised to enter a period of dramatic change, in which the genetic modification of existing organisms -- or the creation of new ones -- will become effective, inexpensive, and pervasive.
November 14, 2018
Mushroom cloud from the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki

The Risk of Nuclear Weapons

Despite the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, humanity still has ~13,000 nuclear weapons. Some of these are hundreds of times more powerful than those that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they may be able to create a decade-long nuclear winter that could kill most people on Earth. Yet the superpowers plan to invest over a trillion dollars upgrading their nuclear arsenals...
November 16, 2015

Climate Change

By 2050, the earth's population is expected to pass 9 billion. By 2100, climate models predict global temperatures will be on average 4°C warmer and sea levels will be 0.7m higher under "business as usual" conditions. The impacts of such changes have been widely studied and many will be felt within our lifetimes.
November 15, 2015
benefits and risks of artificial intelligence

Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence

From SIRI to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly. While science fiction often portrays AI as robots with human-like characteristics, AI can encompass anything from Google's search algorithms to IBM's Watson to autonomous weapons.
November 14, 2015
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benefits and risks of artificial intelligence

Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence

From SIRI to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly. While science fiction often portrays AI as robots with human-like characteristics, AI can encompass anything from Google's search algorithms to IBM's Watson to autonomous weapons.
November 14, 2015

Benefits & Risks of Biotechnology

Over the past decade, progress in biotechnology has accelerated rapidly. We are poised to enter a period of dramatic change, in which the genetic modification of existing organisms -- or the creation of new ones -- will become effective, inexpensive, and pervasive.
November 14, 2018

90% of All the Scientists That Ever Lived Are Alive Today

Click here to see this page in other languages: German The following paper was written and submitted by Eric Gastfriend. […]
November 5, 2015

Existential Risk

Click here to see this page in other languages:  Chinese   French German  Russian An existential risk is any risk that […]
November 16, 2015

How Self-Driving Cars Use Probability

Even though human drivers don’t consciously think in terms of probabilities, we observe our environment and make decisions based on […]
March 13, 2017
Mushroom cloud from the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki

The Risk of Nuclear Weapons

Despite the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, humanity still has ~13,000 nuclear weapons. Some of these are hundreds of times more powerful than those that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they may be able to create a decade-long nuclear winter that could kill most people on Earth. Yet the superpowers plan to invest over a trillion dollars upgrading their nuclear arsenals...
November 16, 2015

Artificial Photosynthesis: Can We Harness the Energy of the Sun as Well as Plants?

Click here to see this page in other languages : Russian  In the early 1900s, the Italian chemist Giacomo Ciamician recognized that […]
September 30, 2016

Superintelligence survey

Click here to see this page in other languages:  Chinese  French  German Japanese  Russian The Future of AI - What Do You Think? Max […]
August 15, 2017
Popular resources

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US Nuclear Targets

1100 Declassified U.S. Nuclear Targets

The National Security Archives recently published a declassified list of U.S. nuclear targets from 1956, which spanned 1,100 locations across Eastern Europe, Russia, China, and North Korea. The map below shows all 1,100 nuclear targets from that list, and we’ve partnered with NukeMap to demonstrate how catastrophic a nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia could be.
May 12, 2016

Accidental Nuclear War: a Timeline of Close Calls

The most devastating military threat arguably comes from a nuclear war started not intentionally but by accident or miscalculation. Accidental […]
February 23, 2016

Global AI Policy

How countries and organizations around the world are approaching the benefits and risks of AI Artificial intelligence (AI) holds great […]
December 16, 2022

Responsible Nuclear Divestment

Only 30 companies worldwide are involved in the creation of nuclear weapons, cluster munitions and/or landmines. Yet a significant number […]
June 21, 2017

Trillion Dollar Nukes

Would you spend $1.2 trillion tax dollars on nuclear weapons? How much are nuclear weapons really worth? Is upgrading the […]
October 24, 2016

AI Policy Challenges

This page is intended as an introduction to the major challenges that society faces when attempting to govern Artificial Intelligence […]
July 17, 2018
Myth of evil AI

The Top Myths About Advanced AI

Common myths about advanced AI distract from fascinating true controversies where even the experts disagree.
August 7, 2016

COVID-19 & Catastrophic Risk

What the experts are saying The viral disease known as COVID-19 has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, devastated the […]
April 13, 2020
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FAQs about FLI’s Open Letter Calling for a Pause on Giant AI Experiments 

Disclaimer: Please note that these FAQ’s have been prepared by FLI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the […]
March 31, 2023

Future of Life Institute Newsletter: Pause Giant AI Experiments!

Welcome to the Future of Life Institute newsletter. Every month, we bring 25,000+ subscribers the latest news on how emerging […]
March 31, 2023

Characterizing AI Policy using Natural Language Processing

As interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) grows across the globe, governments have focused their attention on identifying the soft and […]
December 16, 2022

An introduction to the issue of Lethal Autonomous Weapons

Some of the most advanced national military programs are beginning to implement artificial intelligence (AI) into their weapons, essentially making them 'smart'. This means these weapons will soon be making critical decisions by themselves - perhaps even deciding who lives and who dies.
November 30, 2021

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Future of Life Institute February 2023 Newsletter: Progress on Autonomous Weapons!

Welcome to the Future of Life Institute newsletter. Every month, we bring 24,000+ subscribers the latest news on how emerging […]
March 1, 2023

FLI November 2022 Newsletter: AI Liability Directive

Welcome to the Future of Life Institute Newsletter. Every month, we bring 24,000+ subscribers the latest news on how emerging technologies are transforming our […]
December 9, 2022

FLI October 2022 Newsletter: Against Reckless Nuclear Escalation

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

FLI September 2022 Newsletter: $3M Impacts of Nuclear War Grants Program!

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
More previous editions
Open letters

Add your name to the list of concerned citizens

We have written a number of open letters calling for action to be taken on our cause areas, some of which have gathered hundreds of prominent signatures. Most of these letters are still open today. Add your signature to include your name on the list of concerned citizens.
Signatories
31810

Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter

We call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.
March 22, 2023
Signatories
998

Open Letter Against Reckless Nuclear Escalation and Use

The abhorrent Ukraine war has the potential to escalate into an all-out NATO-Russia nuclear conflict that would be the greatest catastrophe in human history. More must be done to prevent such escalation.
October 18, 2022
Signatories
Closed

Foresight in AI Regulation Open Letter

The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) promises dramatic changes in our economic and social structures as well as everyday life […]
June 14, 2020
Signatories
276

Autonomous Weapons Open Letter: Global Health Community

Given our commitment to do no harm, the global health community has a long history of successful advocacy against inhumane weapons, and the World and American Medical Associations have called for bans on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Now, recent advances in artificial intelligence have brought us to the brink of a new arms race in lethal autonomous weapons.
March 13, 2019
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