£10 million grant for research into impacts of machine intelligence

04 December 2015

Adobe Stock_agsandrew_AI
© Adobe Stock

A new research centre to explore the opportunities and challenges to humanity from the development of artificial intelligence has been launched this week after a £10 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust.

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence is a collaboration between The University of Oxford, Cambridge University, Imperial College London and University of California Berkeley, involving the Future of Humanity Institute and its parent organisation the Oxford Martin School at The University of Oxford. The Centre will be physically located at Cambridge University.

Professor Nick Bostrom, Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, said: “The Future of Humanity Institute at the Oxford Martin School has been a world-leading pioneer researching the future of machine intelligence and its possible impacts.

“We are thrilled about Leverhulme’s decision to support this fledgling field. The funding will enable us to significantly further scale up our own research and strengthen will strengthen our international collaborations.”

Professor Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School, said: "The Oxford Martin School has been an early supporter of research into the potential long-term impacts of artificial intelligence, and we are pleased to see the field now growing rapidly and gaining international attention and funding.

“The new partnership supported by Leverhulme between the Oxford Martin School, Cambridge University and others will I believe make major strides in addressing a vital issue.”

Earlier this week, Foreign Policy named Professor Bostrom on its annual list of Global Thinkers. He was also the subject of the cover article of this month’s New Yorker magazine, in which journalist Raffi Khatchadourian explored Professor Bostrom’s research into artificial intelligence and existential threat, and highlighted the work of the Future of Humanity Institute.

“It is good that some more attention is being given to these issues,” said Professor Bostrom. “There is so much work that needs to be done.”

The Future of Humanity Institute, which was set up by the Oxford Martin School in 2005, is the world’s largest research institute working on technical and policy responses to the long-term prospect of smarter-than-human artificial intelligence.