October Newsletter: How To Reduce Risk

Dear friends,

As we speak, a group of researchers is meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden on the theme of existential risk. I joined it earlier in September. My commendations to Olle Häggström and Anders Sandberg for hosting an excellent event.

My talk in Gothenburg focused on how to find the best opportunities to reduce risk. The best opportunities are often a few steps removed from academic risk and policy analysis. For example, there is a large research literature on climate change policy, much of which factors in catastrophic risk. However, the …

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New Paper: Towards an Integrated Assessment of Global Catastrophic Risk

GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum and GCRI Director of Research Tony Barrett have a new paper related to GCRI’s Integrated Assessment Project titled “Towards an Integrated Assessment of Global Catastrophic Risk” forthcoming in B.J. Garrick’s edited volume, Catastrophic and Existential Risk: Proceedings of the First Colloquium.


Integrated assessment is an analysis of a topic that integrates multiple lines of research. Integrated assessments are thus inherently interdisciplinary. They are generally oriented toward practical problems, often in the context of public policy, and frequently concern topics in science and technology. …

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September Newsletter: 2017 Society for Risk Analysis Meeting

Dear friends,

Each year, GCRI hosts sessions on global catastrophic risk at the annual meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis, which is the leading academic and professional society for all things risk. This year, we have gotten three full sessions accepted for the meeting, our most ever. SRA is competitive and we are honored to have three sessions.

Likewise, for those of you who are interested in SRA but haven’t come to the meeting before, this would be a good year to come. SRA has a …

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July Newsletter: Summer Talks and Presentations

Integrated Assessment

GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum gave a talk on “Integrated Assessment of Global Catastrophic Risk and Artificial Intelligence” at the Cambridge University Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) on June 28. Dr. Baum will also participate in a Tech2025 workshop on future AI risk on July 11 in New York City.

GCRI Director of Research Tony Barrett gave a talk on integrated assessment, nuclear war, AI, and risk reduction opportunities at an Effective Altruism DC event on global catastrophic risks on June 17.

Artificial Intelligence

GCRI Associate …

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June Newsletter: Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

Dear friends,

This past May, a draft treaty to ban nuclear weapons was released at the United Nations. Nuclear weapons are a major global catastrophic risk, one that GCRI has done extensive work on. At first glance, the nuclear ban treaty would seem like something to wholeheartedly support. However, upon closer inspection, its merits are ambiguous.

The treaty is not expected to eliminate nuclear weapons because the nuclear-armed countries won’t sign it. Instead, it seeks to strengthen the norm against nuclear weapons and increase pressure for disarmament. …

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May Newsletter: The Value of GCR Research

Dear friends,

People often ask me why we set GCRI up as a think tank instead of something for more direct action at reducing the risk. The reason is that when it comes to the global catastrophic risks, a little bit of well-designed research goes a long way. It helps us make better decisions about how to reduce the risks.

For example, last week I attended a political science workshop at Yale University on how to cost-effectively spend $10 billion to reduce the probability of war between …

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Call for Papers: Informatica Special Issue on Superintelligence

GCRI associate Roman Yampolskiy and junior associate Matthijs Maas are—along with Ryan Carey and Nell Watson—guest-editing an upcoming Informatica special issue on superintelligence. The special issue will approach the topic of superintelligence in as multidisciplinary and visionary a manner as possible.

They are looking for original research, critical studies, and review articles on topics related to superintelligence, in particular including

– Artificial Superintelligence
– Artificial General Intelligence
– Biological Superintelligence
– Brain-computer Interfaces
– Whole Brain Emulation
– Genetic Engineering
– Cognitive Enhancement
– Collective Superintelligence
– Neural Lace-Mediated Empathy
– Technological Singularity
– Intelligence Explosion
– Definition …

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April Newsletter

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

GCRI executive director Seth Baum has joined the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) as a research affiliate. The affiliation is in recognition of the contribution Baum has made to CSER.

Colloquium on Catastrophic and Existential Threats

GCRI executive director Seth Baum gave a talk titled “Integrated Assessment of Global Catastrophic Risk” and GCRI director of research Tony Barrett gave a talk titled “Towards Integrated, Comprehensive Assessment of Global Catastrophic Risks to Inform Risk Reduction” at the Garrick Institute …

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Wired UK: Apocalypse, Now?

In its March cover feature on the end of the world, Wired UK wrote about the work the GCRI does—along with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI), the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI), and the Future of Life Institute (FLI)—to mitigate catastrophic risk. In an article on the 10 biggest threats facing civilization, Wired UK discusses the research GCRI does on the risk that an inadvertent nuclear war could cause a nuclear winter and on systemic risk from climate …

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February Newsletter: Outlook For 2017—GCRI & US Politics

Dear friends,

One year ago, I described GCRI’s success with academic and popular publishing and speaking, and noted that this productivity could not be sustained on the small budget we had. Over the past year, we have focused more on fundraising, though I regret with only limited success. It’s enough to keep our doors open, but not enough to perform at high capacity.

But enough about us. What’s more important is that, over the past year, the world has changed. The United States has elected a wholly unusual …

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