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Making AI Robust and Beneficial

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The Future of Life Institute logo.

The Future of Life Institute is seeking proposals for research "to maximize the future societal benefit of artificial intelligence."

Credit: Future of Life Institute

The Future of Life Institute, a volunteer-run research and outreach organization working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity, has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for research "to maximize the future societal benefit of artificial intelligence (AI) while avoiding potential hazards."

The Cambridge, MA-based organization says project proposals may fall in the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, public policy, law, ethics, economics, or education and outreach. Proposals should be limited to research "that explicitly focuses not on the standard goal of making AI more capable, but on making AI more robust and/or beneficial."

The Institute plans to award a total of $6 million in grants, most for projects in the $100,000 to $500,000 range, with funding priority given "to research aimed at keeping AI robust and beneficial even if it comes to greatly supersede current capabilities, either by explicitly focusing on issues related to advanced future AI or by focusing on near-term problems, the solutions of which are likely to be important first steps toward long-term solutions.

Initial proposals of 300 to 1,000 words should include a brief project summary, a draft budget, the principal investigator's CV, and co-investigators' brief biographies, and must be submitted by March 1, 2015. Before applying, please read the complete RFP and list of example topics, which can be found online along with the application form at

After initial proposals are reviewed, some projects will advance to the next round, which will require the submission of a Full Proposal by May 17. Public award recommendations will be made on or about July 1, and successful proposals will begin receiving funding in September.

Additional information may be found on the Institute’s website,


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