The $125,000 Summer Singularity Challenge

From the SingInst blog:

Thanks to the gen­eros­ity of sev­eral ma­jor donors, ev­ery dona­tion to the Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute made now un­til Au­gust 31, 2011 will be matched dol­lar-for-dol­lar, up to a to­tal of $125,000.

Donate now!

(Visit the challenge page to see a progress bar.)

Now is your chance to dou­ble your im­pact while sup­port­ing the Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute and helping us raise up to $250,000 to help fund our re­search pro­gram and stage the up­com­ing Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit… which you can reg­ister for now!

$125,000 in back­ing for this challenge is be­ing gen­er­ously pro­vided by Rob Zahra, Quixey, Clippy, Luke Nosek, Ed­win Evans, Rick Sch­wall, Brian Cart­mell, Mike Blume, Jeff Bone, Jo­han Ed­ström, Zvi Mow­show­itz, John Sal­vatier, Louie Helm, Kevin Fischer, Emil Gilliam, Rob and Ok­sana Brazell, Guy Srini­vasan, John Chisholm, and John Ku.


2011 has been a huge year for Ar­tifi­cial In­tel­li­gence. With the IBM com­puter Wat­son defeat­ing two top Jeop­ardy! cham­pi­ons in Fe­bru­ary, it’s clear that the field is mak­ing steady progress. Jour­nal­ists like Torie Bosch of Slate have ar­gued that “We need to move from robot-apoc­a­lypse jokes to se­ri­ous dis­cus­sions about the emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy.” We couldn’t agree more — in fact, the Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute has been think­ing about how to cre­ate safe and eth­i­cal ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence since long be­fore the Sin­gu­lar­ity landed on the front cover of TIME mag­a­z­ine.

The last 1.5 years were our biggest ever. Since the be­gin­ning of 2010, we have:

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

  • Hold our an­nual Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit, in New York City this year.

  • Pub­lish three chap­ters in the up­com­ing aca­demic vol­ume The Sin­gu­lar­ity Hy­poth­e­sis, along with sev­eral other pa­pers.

  • 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 re­lated to Friendly AI, to clar­ify the re­search space and en­courage other re­searchers to con­tribute to our mis­sion.

  • Add ad­di­tional skil­led re­searchers to our Re­search As­so­ci­ates pro­gram.

  • Pub­lish well-re­searched doc­u­ments 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 PayPal co-founder and Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute donor Peter Thiel said:

“I’m in­ter­ested in fa­cil­i­tat­ing a fo­rum in which there can be… sub­stan­tive re­search on how to bring about a world in which AI will be friendly to hu­mans rather than hos­tile… [The Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute rep­re­sents] a com­bi­na­tion of very tal­ented peo­ple with the right prob­lem space [they’re] go­ing af­ter… [They’ve] done a phe­nom­e­nal job… on a shoestring bud­get. From my per­spec­tive, the key ques­tion is always: What’s the amount of lev­er­age you get as an in­vestor? Where can a small amount make a big differ­ence? This is a very lev­er­aged kind of philan­thropy.”

Donate now, and seize a bet­ter than usual chance to move our work for­ward. Credit card trans­ac­tions are se­curely pro­cessed through Causes.com, Google Check­out, or PayPal. If you have ques­tions about donat­ing, please call Amy Willey at (586) 381-1801.