The Open Philanthropy Project awarded a grant of $277,435 over three years to Robin Hanson (Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University) to analyze potential scenarios in the future development of artificial intelligence (AI). This grant falls within Open Philanthropy's work on potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence, one of its focus areas within global catastrophic risks.
Professor Hanson plans to focus on scenarios in which AI is developed through the steady accumulation of individual pieces of software and leads to a “multipolar” outcome (i.e. a scenario in which the control of advanced AI is distributed among multiple actors, rather than controlled by a single group, firm, or state). Part of this grant will pay to hire a research assistant. Ideally, this research will culminate in a book by Professor Hanson on the topic.
Update: In July of 2017, the Open Philanthropy Project added $12,910 to the original grant amount to cover an increase in George Mason University’s instructional release costs (“teaching buyouts”). The “amount” above has been updated to reflect this.