Your support enables us to push for better futures on three frontiers:
1. Advocating for neglected risks arising from technologies
2. Selectively advancing beneficial technologies
3. Fostering ongoing debate on to decide which risks to advocate for and which beneficial technologies to advance
Please see the list below for our 2017 achievements at one glance – and how we could continue each project in 2018 with your support.
If you prefer an “in person” walkthrough of our achievements and plans, see this 14 m video below:
1. Researching and advocating for neglected risks
To research neglected risks arising from technologies and issue policy recommendations, we write publications and hold workshops with other organizations in the field.
Artificial General Intelligence: Timelines & Policy Meeting
We facilitated a meeting with representatives of OpenAI, Google Brain, EFF, MIRI, Future of Humanity Institute, Future of Life Institute, and other AI safety organizations to discuss policy responses to shortening AGI arrival scenarios.
Please read the whitepaper here.
Cyber, Nano & AGI Risks: Decentralized Approaches to Reducing Risks
We presented our most recent paper on Decentralized Approaches To Reducing Cyber, Nano, and AGI Risks at the 2017 UCLA Risk Symposium. The paper, authored by Mark S. Miller, Christine Peterson, and Allison Duettmann can be found here.
Presentation of Research Findings
We presented the most important findings in Cybersecurity, AGI, and Nano Risk prevention at BIL 2017. See the videos (13 m) below:
In 2018, your support would allow us to produce our own research on neglected risks, gather top specialists in their fields to get on the same page on the topics that matter and issue action recommendations for government and industry. Potential topics:
- Cyberinsecurity as catastrophic risk
- Blockchain ecosystems as secure alternative to current societal ecosystem
- AI safety cooperation, especially considerations of cooperation and openness vs. closedness
2. Selectively advancing beneficial technologies
We selectively further the development of beneficial technologies via technical workshops to push for progress in specific scientific fields, awarding the Feynman Prize to award excellence in nanotechnology research, and the Fellowship to allow brilliant scientists to further their work in undervalued projects.
Atomic Precision for Healthspan & Longevity Workshop
A multidisciplinary group of specialists in healthspan and longevity research collaborated with those tackling the challenges of atomically-precise 3D structures and molecular machines, including construction pathways using chemistry, applied physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and engineering.
AI for Atomic Precision Workshop
This two-day, fast-paced interactive workshop in Silicon Valley, was targeted at generating new insights, new projects, and especially new funding for the goal of applying advanced computer science to the challenges of atomic precision.
In 2018, your support would allow us to gather top academics from across the world to push for the beneficial development of technology. Planned workshops:
- Workshop on “Integrated Molecular Machines: from Materials to Nanosystems”, including Feynman Prize Award Ceremony. Held at Northwestern University in Spring 2018.
We awarded the Feynman Prizes for outstanding research in Nanotechnology to Giovanni Zocchi for inventing the method nano-rheology, and to William Shih for mastering the design and synthesis of 3D DNA nanostructures.
In 2018, your support would allow us to continue to award excellence, encourage researchers to tackle the big small goal of atomic precision, and spread the acceptance of molecular nanotechnology. Fraser Stoddart, 2007 winner of Feynman Prize, won the shared Nobel Prize for his work on molecular machines in 2016.
We granted the Foresight Fellowship to our inaugural class of 10 outstanding scientists in atomic precision, AI, longevity, and space.
In 2018, Your support would allow us to enable more brilliant scientists and innovators to further their work on highly valuable, underfunded projects by sponsoring them to attend and speak at Foresight’s technical workshops, salons, and conferences.
3. Fostering ongoing debate to decide which risks to advocate for and which technologies to advance
We gather brilliant minds via our free salons, and the Vision Weekend to debate where humanity’s path should lead and share our knowledge via the Existential Hope index.
Building Better Futures on the Blockchain: A panel discussion with Christopher Allen, Principal Architect at Blockstream, Steve Omohundro, Director at Possibility Research, Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director at Hyperledger, and Mark S. Miller, Senior Fellow at Foresight Institute. The panel tackled promises and perils do blockchains hold for the economy, government, AI, truth, security.
Brunch with David Brin: A brunch salon in which David covers big history, transparency, AI safety, space exploration, truth-finding strategies, the internet, and the role of active citizenship in creating positive futures.
Blockchains – The Next Frontier: A technical panel on which Arthur Breitman, Tezos, Mark S. Miller, Foresight Institute, Zooko Wilcox, Zcash, Brian Warner, Tahoe-LAFS, Jorge Lopez, Economic Space Agency, Michael Casey, MIT Digital Currency Initiative discuss how blockchains can leverage secure computation to usher in an era of human collaboration.
Effective Altruism: Evaluating Hard-To-Measure Projects: Most of the charities endorsed by EA organizations are doing immediately measurable work, but often that work was made possible by science and technology R&D done earlier. The effectiveness of this R&D work is essential but very hard to measure. We tackled this problem head-on as a group.
Speed Salons on Playa: The default world demands radical ideas now more than ever – what better place to hold space for them than at Burning Man. Speed talks of 5-10 m each on topics from space propulsion, to radical honesty.
Existential Hope: A salon dedicated to sharing the best readings, projects, videos, podcasts, organizations, etc. that inspire a positive long-term vision for the future. Results on existentialhope.com.
In 2018, your support would allow us to keep our “always-sold-out” salons free to the public. Potential Topics for 2018:
- Longevity Tips & Tricks
- Tech Unemployment & Alternatives to UBI
- Blockchains & Experimental Governance
- Decentralization & Open-source Everything
The 2017 Vision weekend was dedicated to taking stock of the most compelling visions for positive futures, sieving out visions that don’t work and getting to work on the ones that do.
In 2018, your support would allow us to make Vision Weekend 2018 more inclusive via increased income-support.
The website existentialhope.com is a collaborative index of readings, podcasts, videos, projects, and organizations that tackle long-term visions for humanity, visions with hope. Divided into three sections: vision (e.g. transhumanism), different problem domains (e.g. AI & Cyberspace), and the toolkit that can be applied to problems to make the vision reality (e.g. predicting & tracking).
In 2018, your support would allow us to ask experts in different fields to populate sub-sections of the index and use the index as knowledge graph to educate and recruit brilliant individuals to tackle valuable long-term projects.
Please help us continue to push for futures worth living!
If you care about any of the above quests, please support our efforts—you’re deciding which of these projects we can continue and how much of them. If you’d like to support a specific project with a bigger donation, please reach out to Foresight President, Steve Burgess, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a $45,000 Challenge Grant until the end of the year—every dollar (or $ value of coins) up to this level will be doubled. So far we are one-third of the way— please help us reach the goal! Because Foresight Institute is an accredited 501(c)3 non-profit organization, your contributions are fully tax-deductible.
Every donation above $250 automatically qualifies you as for Foresight Senior Associate membership, which grants you priority access to our publications, and always sold-out events.
Click here for a list of our 2016 achievements.