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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

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

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

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

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
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

55 Years After Preventing Nuclear Attack, Arkhipov Honored With Inaugural Future of Life Award

Celebrating the contributions of Vasili Arkhipov Click here to see this page in other languages: Russian London, UK - On […]
October 27, 2017
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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
US Nuclear Targets

1100 рассекреченных ядерных целей США

А вы как считаете, сколько единиц ядерного оружия необходимо для сдерживания? Click here to see this page in other languages:  […]
May 31, 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

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

Global AI Policy

How countries and organizations around the world are approaching the benefits and risks of AI Artificial intelligence (AI) holds great […]
August 2, 2021
US Nuclear Targets

1100 veröffentlichte Ziele von US-Atombomben

Wie viele Atombomben, meinen Sie, sind zur Abschreckung nötig? Click here to see this page in other languages:  English Hindi […]
June 11, 2016

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 and Recommendations

AI Policy Challenges and Recommendations Artificial intelligence (AI) holds great economic, social, medical, security, and environmental promise. AI systems can […]
July 17, 2018
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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

10 Reasons Why Autonomous Weapons Must be Stopped

Lethal autonomous weapons pose a number of severe risks. These risks significantly outweigh any benefits they may provide, even for the world's most advanced military programs.
November 27, 2021

Real-Life Technologies that Prove Autonomous Weapons are Already Here

For years, we have seen the signs that lethal autonomous weapons were coming. Unfortunately, these weapons are no longer just 'in development' - they are starting to be used in real military applications. Slaugherbots are officially here.
November 22, 2021

Autonomous weapons: World Policy Map

Autonomous weapons: World Policy Map
November 10, 2021

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Our namesake podcast series features the FLI team in conversation with prominent researchers, policy experts, philosophers, and a range of other influential thinkers.

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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

FLI August 2022 Newsletter

Nuclear Winter Deservedly Back in the Public Eye On 6th August, the Future of Life Institute proudly announced the winners […]
September 14, 2022

FLI July 2022 Newsletter

Meet the First Recipients of FLI’s New Grants Program This month we are delighted to announce the inaugural winners of our […]
August 1, 2022
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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
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
Signatories
Closed

2018 Statement to United Nations on Behalf of LAWS Open Letter Signatories

2018 Statement to United Nations on Behalf of LAWS Open Letter Signatories The following statement was read on the floor […]
September 4, 2018
Signatories
3789

UN Ban on Nuclear Weapons Open Letter

Nuclear arms are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited by an international convention, even though they are the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created. We scientists bear a special responsibility for nuclear weapons, since it was scientists who invented them and discovered that their effects are even more horrific than first thought.
June 19, 2018
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