We are pleased to announce that BERI has received approximately $2 million in donations from entrepreneur and philanthropist Jaan Tallinn to establish a grants program for supporting organizations and individuals doing work that we believe will reduce existential risks for humanity.

Grants will be decided by a committee comprising Andrew Critch (BERI’s Executive Director), Kenzi Amodei (BERI’s Interim Deputy Director), and Mr. Tallinn (acting in a volunteer capacity). Like BERI itself, our grants program is currently focused primarily on x-risks from artificial intelligence, but is open to work that will reduce other existential risks as well.

This month, we decided on our first two grants:

  • a $100,000 general support grant to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) in Berkeley, California.
  • a $100,000 general support grant to the Future of Life Institute (FLI) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Broadly, we believe these groups to have done good work in the past for reducing existential risk and wish to support their continued efforts. Over the next few months, we may write more about our reasoning behind these and other grants. In the short run, we expect our grants will be awarded primarily to:

  1. other organizations with a track record of projects that we believe to have been useful for reducing existential risk,
  2. individuals with a track record of accomplishments who wish to undertake low-cost, high-upside experimental projects that we believe could develop into new approaches to x-risk reduction, and
  3. graduate students doing x-risk relevant research at top universities who have a track record of demonstrated personal interest in reducing existential risk.

If you have suggestions or proposals for us, you may reach us at contact@existence.org.