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The Windfall Trust

Image: Adapted from Scott Santens, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The trajectory of wealth concentration stands poised to escalate with advancement of AI technology and exacerbate existing inequalities. As AI inches closer towards human-level intelligence, we stand on the brink of profound transformations in our society and in the workforce.

The Windfall Clause is a proposed mechanism wherein AI labs legally pre-commit to sharing profits generated by their creations if their profits exceed a predetermined threshold, such as a fraction of the world’s GDP. It serves as a proactive response to the potential exponential wealth accumulation resulting from transformative AI, aiming to ensure equitable distribution of wealth by redirecting excess profits towards broader societal benefits.

But how would such profits be distributed? What if there existed a fund that belonged to all of humanity – where everyone born on earth would be entitled to an equal share in its corpus? Could we seed such a fund with the proceeds of AI to create a robust model for basic universal wealth?

The Windfall Trust is an ambitious initiative aimed at researching and establishing a robust international institution that could provide universal basic assets.

The project entails researching and creating a fully fleshed-out design for such a trust, encompassing legal and financial structures, investment principles, payout algorithms, governance frameworks, and funding plans. Its overarching goal is to foster economic stability by distributing income from the trust, starting with the most economically vulnerable, to establish a universal human income floor.

Now more than ever, it’s imperative to imagine and cultivate the institutions that will shape our collective future, paving the way for a society where every individual can thrive.

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