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.


  • Our Grants Program awarded the following grants:

  • We hired 2 contractors to help us in supporting our partners:

  • We assisted two highly x-risk-motivated individuals with the application process for the European Commission’s newly created High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence.

  • We commissioned a small, informal review on the relative prevalence of public interest in existential risks from AI, compared to public interest in other negative aspects of AI.

  • BERI held its second board meeting of 2018. Due to BERI’s recent growth, BERI’s board members are devoting more time to BERI and developing robust oversight processes.

  • Internally, we began to implement our Fiscal Operating Procedures in preparation for our upcoming audit in June (BERI is commissioning an outside auditor because we took in over $2 million in revenue last year).

  • We revamped our plans and processes for our Academic Awards grants program.

  • We assisted CHAI’s annual workshop by:

    • graphically designing and printing handouts (this was Laura’s project, mentioned above), and

    • transporting a VIP to the workshop.


  • We misclassified one of our contractors as an employee, due to some miscommunication and lack of an internal check to ensure proper classification of new hires. This mistake has now been rectified, and we have improved our onboarding processes so that this will be unlikely to occur again.

Works in Progress

We are…

  • Hiring for additional Project Managers, and a Program Investigator and Manager position. You can learn more about each position at our jobs page.

  • Assisting the BERI Support Fund (BSF) in applying for non-profit status and other operational set-up tasks, especially processes to receive donations.

  • Evaluating the possibility of setting up an organization in the UK to run BERI-like activities for our partners across the ocean.

  • Currently trialling a full-time Project Manager, Josh Jacobson, who has already helped out on numerous tasks. His most notable current projects include:

    • Exploring the possibility of setting up a Residential Fellowship for x-risk-motivated graduate students in the Bay Area.

    • Completing a grant investigation.

    • Engaging a potential partner institution in conversations about possible collaborations.

  • Searching for permanent office space for BERI’s growing team.