MIRI’s Winter 2013 Matching Challenge

Up­date: The fundraiser has been com­pleted! De­tails here. The origi­nal post fol­lows...

(Cross-posted from MIRI’s blog. MIRI main­tains Less Wrong, with gen­er­ous help from Trike Apps, and much of the core con­tent is writ­ten by salaried MIRI staff mem­bers.)

Thanks to Peter Thiel, ev­ery dona­tion made to MIRI be­tween now and Jan­uary 15th, 2014 will be matched dol­lar-for-dol­lar!

Also, gifts from “new large donors” will be matched 3x! That is, if you’ve given less than $5k to SIAI/​MIRI ever, and you now give or pledge $5k or more, Thiel will donate $3 for ev­ery dol­lar you give or pledge.

We don’t know whether we’ll be able to offer the 3:1 match­ing ever again, so if you’re ca­pa­ble of giv­ing $5k or more, we en­courage you to take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity while you can. Re­mem­ber that:

  • If you pre­fer to give monthly, no prob­lem! If you pledge 6 months of monthly dona­tions, your full 6-month pledge will be the dona­tion amount to be matched. So if you give monthly, you can get 3:1 match­ing for only $834/​mo (or $417/​mo if you get match­ing from your em­ployer).

  • We ac­cept Bit­coin (BTC) and Rip­ple (XRP), both of which have re­cently jumped in value. If the mar­ket value of your Bit­coin or Rip­ple is $5k or more on the day you make the dona­tion, this will count for match­ing.

  • If your em­ployer matches your dona­tions at 1:1 (check here), then you can take ad­van­tage of Thiel’s 3:1 match­ing by giv­ing as lit­tle as $2,500 (be­cause it’s $5k af­ter cor­po­rate match­ing).

Please email malo@in­tel­li­gence.org if you in­tend on lev­er­ag­ing cor­po­rate match­ing or would like to pledge 6 months of monthly dona­tions, so that we can prop­erly ac­count for your con­tri­bu­tions to­wards the fundraiser.

Thiel’s to­tal match is capped at $250,000. The to­tal amount raised will de­pend on how many peo­ple take ad­van­tage of 3:1 match­ing. We don’t an­ti­ci­pate be­ing able to hit the $250k cap with­out sub­stan­tial use of 3:1 match­ing — so if you haven’t given $5k thus far, please con­sider giv­ing/​pledg­ing $5k or more dur­ing this drive. (If you’d like to know the to­tal amount of your past dona­tions to MIRI, just ask malo@in­tel­li­gence.org.)

Now is your chance to dou­ble or quadru­ple your im­pact in fund­ing our re­search pro­gram.

Donate Today

Ac­com­plish­ments Since Our July 2013 Fundraiser Launched:

How Will Marginal Funds Be Used?

  • Hiring Friendly AI re­searchers, iden­ti­fied through our work­shops, as they be­come available for full-time work at MIRI.

  • Run­ning more work­shops (next one be­gins Dec. 14th), to make con­crete Friendly AI re­search progress, to in­tro­duce new re­searchers to open prob­lems in Friendly AI, and to iden­tify can­di­dates for MIRI to hire.

  • De­scribing more open prob­lems in Friendly AI. Our cur­rent strat­egy is for Yud­kowsky to ex­plain them as quickly as pos­si­ble via Face­book dis­cus­sion, fol­lowed by more struc­tured ex­pla­na­tions writ­ten by oth­ers in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Yud­kowsky.

  • Im­prov­ing hu­man­ity’s strate­gic un­der­stand­ing of what to do about su­per­in­tel­li­gence. In the com­ing months this will in­clude (1) ad­di­tional in­ter­views and analy­ses on our blog, (2) a reader’s guide for Nick Bostrom’s forth­com­ing Su­per­in­tel­li­gence book, and (3) an in­tro­duc­tory ebook cur­rently ti­tled Smarter Than Us.

Other pro­jects are still be­ing sur­veyed for likely cost and im­pact.

We ap­pre­ci­ate your sup­port for our work! Donate now, and seize a bet­ter than usual chance to move our work for­ward. If you have ques­tions about donat­ing, please con­tact Louie Helm at (510) 717-1477 or louie@in­tel­li­gence.org. Screen­shot Ser­vice pro­vided by LinkPeek.com.