Singularity Institute $100,000 end-of-year fundraiser only 20% filled so far

** cross-posted from http://​​sin­​​2011win­ter­fundraiser/​​ **

Con­tains de­tailed info about ac­com­plish­ments and plans at SI. Thanks for sup­port­ing our work! -Louie


Re­cent books like Ma­chine Ethics from Cam­bridge Univer­sity Press and Robot Ethics from MIT Press, along with the U.S. mil­i­tary-funded re­search that re­sulted in Govern­ing Lethal Be­hav­ior in Au­tonomous Robots show that the world is wak­ing up to the challenges of build­ing safe and eth­i­cal AI. But these pro­jects fo­cus on limited AI ap­pli­ca­tions and fail to ad­dress the most im­por­tant con­cern: how to en­sure that smarter-than-hu­man AI benefits hu­man­ity. The Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute has been work­ing on that prob­lem longer than any­body, a full decade be­fore the Sin­gu­lar­ity landed on the cover of TIME mag­a­z­ine.


2011 was our biggest year yet. Since the year be­gan, we have:

  • Held our an­nual Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit in New York City, with more than 900 in at­ten­dance. Speak­ers in­cluded in­ven­tor and fu­tur­ist Ray Kurzweil, economist Tyler Cowen, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Skep­tic pub­lisher Michael Sher­mer, Math­e­mat­ica and WolframAlpha cre­ator Stephen Wolfram, neu­ro­scien­tist Christof Koch, MIT physi­cist Max Teg­mark, and famed Jeop­ardy! con­tes­tant Ken Jen­nings.

  • Held a smaller Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit in Salt Lake City.

  • Held a one-week Ra­tion­al­ity Mini­camp and a ten-week Ra­tion­al­ity Boot Camp.

  • Created the Re­search As­so­ci­ates pro­gram, which cur­rently has 7 re­searchers co­or­di­nat­ing with Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute.

  • Pub­lished our Sin­gu­lar­ity FAQ, In­tel­li­genceEx­plo­, and

  • Wrote three chap­ters for Springer’s up­com­ing vol­ume The Sin­gu­lar­ity Hy­poth­e­sis, along with four other re­search pa­pers.

  • Be­gan work on a new, clearer web­site de­sign with lots of new con­tent, which should go live Q1 2012.

  • Be­gan out­lin­ing open prob­lems in Sin­gu­lar­ity re­search to help out­side col­lab­o­ra­tors bet­ter un­der­stand our re­search pri­ori­ties.


In the com­ing year, we plan to do the fol­low­ing:

  • Hold our an­nual Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit, in San Fran­cisco this year.

  • Im­prove or­ga­ni­za­tional trans­parency by cre­at­ing a sim­pler, eas­ier-to-use web­site that in­cludes Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute plan­ning and policy doc­u­ments.

  • Pub­lish a doc­u­ment of open re­search prob­lems in Sin­gu­lar­ity Re­search, to clar­ify the re­search space and en­courage other re­searchers to con­tribute to our mis­sion.

  • Add ad­di­tional skil­led re­searchers to our Re­search As­so­ci­ates pro­gram.

  • Pub­lish a well-re­searched doc­u­ment mak­ing the case for ex­is­ten­tial risk re­duc­tion as op­ti­mal philan­thropy.

  • Diver­sify our fund­ing sources by ap­ply­ing for tar­geted grants and ad­ver­tis­ing our af­finity credit card pro­gram.

    We ap­pre­ci­ate your sup­port for our high-im­pact work. As Skype co-founder Jaan Tal­linn said:

    We be­came the dom­i­nant species on this planet by be­ing the most in­tel­li­gent species around. This cen­tury we are go­ing to cede that crown to ma­chines… Since we have only one shot at get­ting this tran­si­tion right, the im­por­tance of Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute’s work can­not be over­es­ti­mated.

Now is your last chance to make a tax-de­ductible dona­tion in 2011.

If you’d like to sup­port our work: please donate now!