This post is part of our monthly activity update series. Each activity update briefly describes what we’ve been up to in the last month and, hopefully, helps to shed light on how our priorities shift over time. Note that some of our time each month will be spent investigating future project opportunities that may not be covered in these posts until our plans are more solid.


  • Jaan Tallinn has made another donation of approximately $5 million to BERI’s Grants Program. We are extremely grateful to see this much support for existential risk reduction and are excited to help direct the funding through a grant investigation process that we are currently developing.

  • BERI also received two unrestricted $100k donations, one from an anonymous donor and one from the Casey and Family Foundation. We are deeply appreciative of this generous support and hope to use some of these funds to expand our team this year.

  • BERI co-hosted an AI Safety networking reception at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference (website) in Los Angeles. Over 60 people attended.

  • We commissioned Michael Keenan to build an open source tool for publishing blog posts. The tool is still under development, but it has already helped BERI with several blog posts. We hope that the tool will be useful to other groups using markdown for blogs, such as the Center for Human-Compatible AI or LessWrong 2.0.

  • We began supporting the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) on several minor projects. With BERI’s support, CSER will purchase equipment for their new office, hire a graphic designer for their upcoming AI policy report, and fund a group of UK students in forming an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Future Generations.

  • Our Grants Program awarded a second $100k general support grant to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and a $100k general support grant to the Center for Applied Rationality.


  • We continue to be delayed in posting a scholarship application form to our website, because of conflicting information about how we should run the program.

Works in Progress

We are…

  • Investigating several potential grant opportunities. We hope to increase our capacity for evaluating and making grants in 2018.

  • Continuing to trial a promising ML engineer and an Operations & Finance Manager candidate.