The Open Philanthropy Project awarded $1,186,000 to the Future of Life Institute (FLI) to support research proposals aimed at keeping artificial intelligence robust and beneficial. In the first half of 2015, FLI issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to gather research proposals on artificial intelligence risk reduction. This RFP was the first wave of a $10 million program funded by Elon Musk; the RFP planned to make grants worth approximately $6 million.
The RFP solicited applications for research projects (by small teams or individuals) and centers (to be founded focusing on policy and forecasting). After working closely with FLI during the receipt and evaluation of proposals, we determined that the value of high quality project proposals submitted was greater than the available funding. Consequently, we made a grant of $1,186,000 to FLI to enable additional project proposals to be funded. We consider the value of this grant to comprise both the output of the additional projects funded, and the less tangible benefits of supporting the first formal RFP in this field.
We were very pleased with the overall quality of the applications, and with the decisions made by the selection panel. The proposals that were funded by the RFP span a wide range of approaches, including research on ensuring that advanced AI systems that may be developed in the future are aligned with human values, managing the economic impacts of AI, and controlling autonomous weapons systems.