December Newsletter: The US Election & Global Catastrophic Risk

Dear friends,

The recent US election offers a vivid reminder of how large and seemingly unlikely events can and do sometimes occur. Just as we cannot assume that elections will continue to be won by normal politicians, we also cannot assume that humanity will continue to avoid global catastrophe.

The outcome of this election has many implications for global catastrophic risk, which I outline in a new article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. To my eyes, the election increases the importance of nuclear weapons risk …

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November Newsletter: Media Engagement Intern Program

Dear friends,

I am delighted to announce GCRI’s new media engagement internship program. We have selected four people from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Each of the interns is a talented student or young professional with a promising career in global catastrophic risk ahead. They are Marilyn Cotrich, an undergraduate at Arizona State; Jenny Mith, a community manager at IVY; Adam Scholl, a media entrepreneur and independent analyst; and Lena Wang, an undergraduate at the University of Sydney currently on exchange at UCLA. They are …

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NonProphets Podcast: Forecasting Global Catastrophe

GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum was interviewed about forecasting and preventing global catastrophes on NonProphets. NonProphets is a weekly podcast about forecasting hosted in part by GCRI Director of Communications Robert de Neufville. You can download the podcast here.

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Scientific American: Should We Let Uploaded Brains Take Over?

GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum has guest blog post in Scientific American on whether we should “upload” our brains to electronic computers. He argues that while there might be substantial benefits to uploading our brains this way, the technology would create new risks as well. While it may be decades or even centuries before we have the technical ability to emulate human brains, we should begin to consider those risks now.

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Seth Baum at The Story Collider October 18

If you are in New York, you can hear GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum speak in Brooklyn on October 18 at the Story Collider, an event for personal stories about science. The event has a pre-Halloween theme of fear. Baum will talk about his experience of the heated debate he sparked last year about winter-safe deterrence.

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Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: Tackling AI Threats

GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum has a new article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on how we can tackle near and far AI threats at once. The article describes the disagreement among AI experts over whether near-term or long-term AI issues are more important. It argues that the disagreement can be resolved by focusing on opportunities to address both sets of issues at the same time. The article looks specifically at ways we can address both sets of issues through social norms, technical research, and public …

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October Newsletter: Society for Risk Analysis Symposium

2016 Society for Risk Analysis Meeting

GCRI will lead a symposium on global catastrophic risk at the 2016 meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), December 11-15 in San Diego. SRA is the premier academic and professional society for risk analysis. GCRI has led symposiums at SRA meetings since 2010. The 2016 GCRI symposium features five talks focused on risks from artificial intelligence and nuclear weapons.

Artificial Intelligence

GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum’s paper, “On the promotion of safe and socially beneficial artificial intelligence” has been accepted for publication …

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September Newsletter: Media Internship Opportunity

Dear friends,

GCRI is currently recruiting for a volunteer/intern position on media engagement. We aim both to improve the quality of global catastrophic risk media coverage—including coverage of GCRI—and to help someone launch their career. The ideal fit would be a college student or recent graduate who seeks a career in global catastrophic risk in something media-related such as journalism or social science. Details can be found on GCRI’s website. We would be grateful if you would share the announcement with anyone who might be interested or apply …

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Seth Baum Appointed to Advisory Board of AI & Society

GCRI’s Seth Baum has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the journal AI & Society. AI & Society is an interdisciplinary journal focused on societal issues related to artificial intelligence including the design, use, management, and policy of information, communications and new media technologies, with a particular emphasis on cultural, social, cognitive, economic, ethical, and philosophical implications.

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Working Paper: On the Promotion of Safe and Socially Beneficial Artificial Intelligence

GCRI is launching a working paper series with a new paper On the promotion of safe and socially beneficial artificial intelligence by Seth Baum.

Abstract
This paper discusses means for promoting artificial intelligence (AI) that is designed to be safe and beneficial for society (or simply “beneficial AI”). The promotion of beneficial AI is a social challenge because it seeks to motivate AI developers to choose beneficial AI designs. Currently, the AI field is focused mainly on building AIs that are more capable, with little regard to …

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