Events since MIRI’s April 2013 strategic plan have increased my confidence that we are “headed in the right direction.” During the rest of 2014 we will continue to:
- Decrease our public outreach efforts, leaving most of that work to FHI at Oxford, CSER at Cambridge, FLI at MIT, Stuart Russell at UC Berkeley, and others (e.g. James Barrat).
- Finish a few pending “strategic research” projects, then decrease our efforts on that front, again leaving most of that work to FHI, plus CSER and FLI if they hire researchers, plus some others.
- Increase our investment in our Friendly AI (FAI) technical research agenda.
The reasons for continuing along this path remain largely the same, but I have more confidence in it now than I did before. This is because, since April 2013:
- We produced much Friendly AI research progress on many different fronts, and do not remotely feel like we’ve exhausted the progress that could be made if we had more researchers, demonstrating that the FAI technical agenda is highly tractable.
- FHI, CSER, and FLI have had substantial public outreach success, in part by leveraging their university affiliations and impressive advisory boards.
- We’ve heard that as a result of this outreach success, and also because of Stuart Russell’s discussions with researchers at AI conferences, AI researchers are beginning to ask, “Okay, this looks important, but what is the technical research agenda? What could my students and I do about it?” Basically, they want to see an FAI technical agenda, and MIRI is is developing that technical agenda already (see below).
In short, I think we tested and validated MIRI’s new strategic focus, and now it is time to scale. Thus, our top goals for the next 6-12 months are to:
- Produce more Friendly AI research.
- Recruit more Friendly AI researchers.
- Fundraise heavily to support those activities.