April 2020 Newsletter

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MIRI’s largest grant to date!

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A big announcement today: MIRI has been awarded a two-year $7,703,750 grant by Open Philanthropy — our largest grant to date. In combination with the ~$1.06M Open Philanthropy is also disbursing to MIRI this year (the second half of their 2019 grant), this amounts to $4.38M per year over two years, or roughly 60% of our predicted 2020–2021 budgets.

While ~$6.24M of Open Philanthropy’s new grant comes from their main funders, $1.46M was made possible by Open Philanthropy’s new partnership with Ben Delo, co-founder of the cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX. Ben Delo has teamed up with Open Philanthropy to support their long-termist grantmaking, which includes (quoting Open Philanthropy):

reducing potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence, furthering biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, and other initiatives to combat global catastrophic risks, as well as much of the work we fund on effective altruism.

We’re additionally happy to announce a $300,000 grant from the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative. I’ll note that at the time of our 2019 fundraiser, we expected to receive a grant from BERI in early 2020, and incorporated this into our reserves estimates. However, we predicted the grant size would be $600k; now that we know the final grant amount, that estimate should be $300k lower.

Finally, MIRI has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Effective Altruism Funds Long-Term Future Fund, managed by the Centre for Effective Altruism. The fund plans to release a write-up describing the reasoning for their new round of grants in a couple of weeks.

Our thanks to Open Phil, Ben Delo and Effective Giving UK (Ben Delo’s philanthropic advisor), BERI, and the Long-Term Future Fund for this amazing support! Going into 2020–2021, these new grants put us in an unexpectedly good position to grow and support our research team. To learn more about our growth plans, see our 2019 fundraiser post and our 2018 strategy update.

March 2020 Newsletter

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February 2020 Newsletter

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Our 2019 Fundraiser Review

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Our 2019 fundraiser ended on December 31 with the month-long campaign raising $601,1201 from over2 259 donors. While we didn’t reach our $1M fundraising goal, the amount raised will be a very substantial help to us going into 2020. We’re grateful to all who supported us during the fundraiser.


20% of our fundraiser total was raised in a single minute on December 3 during Facebook’s Giving Tuesday matching event, deserving special mention. Facebook’s matching pool of $7M was exhausted within 14 seconds of their event’s 5am PST start but in spite of the shortness of the event, a cohort of lightning-fast early risers secured a significant amount of Facebook matching for MIRI this year; of the $77,325 donated to MIRI on Giving Tuesday, $45,915 was donated early enough to be matched by Facebook. Thank you to everybody who set their clocks early to support us3 and a shout out to the EA Giving Tuesday/Rethink Charity collaboration which helped direct $563k in matching funds to EA nonprofits on Giving Tuesday.

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January 2020 Newsletter

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December 2019 Newsletter

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MIRI’s 2019 Fundraiser

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MIRI’s 2019 fundraiser is concluded.

Over the past two years, huge donor support has helped us double the size of our AI alignment research team. Hitting our $1M fundraising goal this month will put us in a great position to continue our growth in 2020 and beyond, recruiting as many brilliant minds as possible to take on what appear to us to be the central technical obstacles to alignment.

Our fundraiser progress, updated in real time (including donations and matches made during the Facebook Giving Tuesday event):