New grants from the Open Philanthropy Project and BERI

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I’m happy to announce that MIRI has received two major new grants:

The Open Philanthropy Project’s grant was awarded as part of the first round of grants recommended by their new committee for effective altruism support:

We are experimenting with a new approach to setting grant sizes for a number of our largest grantees in the effective altruism community, including those who work on long-termist causes. Rather than have a single Program Officer make a recommendation, we have created a small committee, comprised of Open Philanthropy staff and trusted outside advisors who are knowledgeable about the relevant organizations. […] We average the committee members’ votes to arrive at final numbers for our grants.

The Open Philanthropy Project’s grant is separate from the three-year $3.75 million grant they awarded us in 2017, the third $1.25 million disbursement of which is still scheduled for later this year. This new grant increases the Open Philanthropy Project’s total support for MIRI from $1.4 million1 in 2018 to ~$2.31 million in 2019, but doesn’t reflect any decision about how much total funding MIRI might receive from Open Phil in 2020 (beyond the fact that it will be at least ~$1.06 million).

Going forward, the Open Philanthropy Project currently plans to determine the size of any potential future grants to MIRI using the above committee structure.

We’re very grateful for this increase in support from BERI and the Open Philanthropy Project—both organizations that already numbered among our largest funders of the past few years. We expect these grants to play an important role in our decision-making as we continue to grow our research team in the ways described in our 2018 strategy update and fundraiser posts.

  1. The $1.4 million counts the Open Philanthropy Project’s $1.25 million disbursement in 2018, as well as a $150,000 AI Safety Retraining Program grant to MIRI.