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A bill to massively expand NSF to tech domains. What's the relevance for x-risk?

by EdoArad1 min read12th Jul 20204 comments

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Scientific ProgressExistential Risk
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A new bill suggested for a massive increase in funding ($100B increase over 4 years, against the current $35B) to the NSF (National Science Foundation), allocated to technological progress in 10 areas, including Natural or Anthropogenic Disaster Prevention. Can this be leveraged to massively increased attention and resources to x-risk?

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A big expansion of the non-defence science budget, $8B/yr->$30B+/yr, with ML/genomics/disaster prevention being among the focus areas for the additional funding - interesting! Yet less than federal national defence spending ($60B/yr)., and much less than private R&D ($400B/yr). [1]

I guess groups that are already using defence research grants (maybe AI research) or private funding would be affected to a small-to-medium extent, whereas ones that are not (disaster prevention) could feel a big difference.

1. See Fig 3 and Table 1 at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44307.pdf