MIRI – Machine Intelligence Research Institute
The Machine Intelligence Research Institute is a research nonprofit focused on the mathematical underpinnings of intelligent behavior. Our mission is to develop formal tools for the clean design and analysis of general-purpose artificially intelligent systems, with the intent of making such systems safe and reliable when they are developed. The field of AI has a reputation for overselling its progress. In the “AI winters” of the late 1970s and 1980s, researchers’ failures to make good on ambitious promises led to a collapse of funding and interest in AI. Although the field is now undergoing a renaissance, discussion of the possibility of human-level machine intelligence continues to be restricted largely to the science fiction shelf, for fear of recapitulating our past overconfidence. At the same time, researchers largely agree that AI is likely to begin outperforming humans on most cognitive tasks in this century. Given how disruptive domain-general AI technology would likely be, we believe that it is prudent to begin a conversation about this now, and to investigate whether there are any limited areas in which we can predict the technology’s effects. The most common position among MIRI’s researchers is that the strategic questions relevant to future advances in AI have yet to be adequately investigated. This will be added to Artificial Intelligence Resources Subject Tracer™.