The Open Philanthropy Project awarded two gifts totaling $1,450,016 to the University of California, Berkeley to support a four-year research project on Artificial Intelligence (AI) safety. The work will be led by Professors Sergey Levine and Anca Dragan, who will each devote approximately 20% of their time to the project, with additional assistance from four graduate students. They initially intend to focus their research on how objective misspecification can produce subtle or overt undesirable behavior in robotic systems, though they have the flexibility to adjust their focus during the grant period.
Open Philanthropy's broad goals for this funding are to encourage top researchers to work on AI alignment and safety issues in order to build a pipeline for young researchers; to support progress on technical problems; and to generally support the growth of this area of study.
This funding falls within Open Philanthropy's work on potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence.