Future of Humanity Institute

FHI is a multidisciplinary research institute at the University of Oxford. Academics at FHI bring the tools of mathematics, philosophy and social sciences to bear on big-picture questions about humanity and its prospects. The Institute is led by Founding Director Professor Nick Bostrom.

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Occasional announcements from FHI.

QNRs: Toward Language for Intelligent Machines

Learned, quasilinguistic neural representations (QNRs) that upgrade words to embeddings and syntax to graphs can provide a semantic medium that is both more expressive and more computationally tractable than natural language, a medium able to support formal and informal reasoning, human and inter-agent communication, and the development of scalable quasilinguistic corpora with characteristics of both literatures and associative memory. […]

The Edges of Our Universe

This paper by Toby Ord explores the fundamental causal limits on how much of the universe we can observe or affect. It distinguishes four principal regions: the affectable universe, the observable universe, the eventually observable universe, and the ultimately observable universe. It then shows how these (and other) causal limits set physical bounds on what […]

Moral Uncertainty: Toby Ord Book Release
Very often we are uncertain about what we ought, morally, to do. How should we make decisions in the face of such uncertainty? Moral Uncertainty, a new book by William MacAskill, Toby Ord & Krister Bykvist, tackles this question. Decision-making in the face of fundamental moral uncertainty is underexplored terrain: William MacAskill, Krister Bykvist, and [...]
Toby Ord & CSER comment on the UK Government’s National AI Strategy

Toby Ord and CSER‘s Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh have released a joint statement on the UK’s newly-released National AI Strategy: We are pleased to see the UK Government set out its National AI Strategy.  AI is a transformative technology, with the potential to bring significant benefits to the UK. It is encouraging to see issues such […]

If Loud Aliens Explain Human Earliness, Quiet Aliens Are Also Rare

New paper from Robin Hanson, Daniel Martin, Calvin McCarter, & Jonathan Paulson. Forthcoming in Astrophysics Journal, preprint on arXiv. Abstract: If life on Earth had to achieve n “hard steps” to reach humanity’s level, then the chance of this event rose as time to the n-th power. Integrating this over habitable star formation and planet […]

FHI experts call on UK government to prepare for extreme risks in new report, Future Proof

The UK government must act now to ensure the UK is prepared for future extreme risks even greater than Covid-19, a new report finds. Disease warfare, leaks of dangerous pathogens from high-security labs, and misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) systems are identified as key threats to the UK and the wider world. The report, Future […]

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