2011 Machine Intelligence Research Institute Winter Fundraiser

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Help us raise $100,000 that will go towards funding a website redesign, new research papers, and staging a bigger and better Singularity Summit 2012 in San Francisco. This fundraiser ends January 20th, so please contribute now to help us achieve our goal!

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This is your last chance to make a tax-deductible donation in 2011.


Recent books like Machine Ethics from Cambridge University Press and Robot Ethics from MIT Press, along with the U.S. military-funded research that resulted in Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots show that the world is waking up to the challenges of building safe and ethical AI. But these projects focus on limited AI applications and fail to address the most important concern: how to ensure that smarter-than-human AI benefits humanity. The Machine Intelligence Research Institute has been working on that problem longer than anybody, a full decade before the Singularity landed on the cover of TIME magazine.


2011 was our biggest year yet. Since the year began, we have:

  • Held our annual Singularity Summit in New York City, with more than 900 in attendance. Speakers included inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, economist Tyler Cowen, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Skeptic publisher Michael Shermer, Mathematica and WolframAlpha creator Stephen Wolfram, neuroscientist Christof Koch, MIT physicist Max Tegmark, and famed Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings.
  • Held a smaller Singularity Summit in Salt Lake City.
  • Held a one-week Rationality Minicamp and a ten-week Rationality Boot Camp.
  • Created the Research Associates program, which currently has 7 researchers coordinating with Singularity Institute.
  • Published our Intelligence Explosion FAQ, IntelligenceExplosion.com, and Friendly-AI.com.
  • Wrote three chapters for Springer’s upcoming volume The Singularity Hypothesis, along with four other research papers.
  • Began work on a new, clearer website design with lots of new content, which should go live Q1 2012.
  • Began outlining open problems in Singularity research to help outside collaborators better understand our research priorities.


In the coming year, we plan to do the following:

  • Hold our annual Singularity Summit, in San Francisco this year.
  • Improve organizational transparency by creating a simpler, easier-to-use website that includes Machine Intelligence Research Institute planning and policy documents.
  • Publish a document of open research problems in Singularity Research, to clarify the research space and encourage other researchers to contribute to our mission.
  • Add additional skilled researchers to our Research Associates program.
  • Publish a well-researched document making the case for existential risk reduction as optimal philanthropy.
  • Diversify our funding sources by applying for targeted grants and advertising our affinity credit card program.

We appreciate your support for our high-impact work.