Foresight Institute is a research organization and non-profit that supports the development of technologies that can have a positive impact on the world. Since 1986, we have focused on advancing crucial technologies such as molecular machines and atomic precision for applications in energy, medicine, material science, and space development. 

However, with all technological developments we also recognize that there is a risk. We believe that ideas from the effective altruism and longtermist communities have not yet been fully embraced in the mainstream science and technology fields, despite their potential to lead to safer developments of crucial technologies, and to differential technological progress. To address this, we want to invite more EA people to attend our upcoming workshops. 

By doing so, we hope to introduce these ideas into scientific discussions and also provide the effective altruism and longtermist communities with new scientific facts and perspectives. Our hope is that this can help increase long-term coordination between science and policy/risk researchers. 

In this post, we introduce all events and workshops that we will be hosting in 2023, that could potentially be interesting to EAs, such as our WBE and AI safety-workshop, (80k post on Whole Brain Emulation), our Space-workshop (80k post on space governance) or our Molecular Systems design workshop (80k post on atomically precise manufacturing). You can find a full list of the events we are hosting in 2023 on our website.

If any of these workshops seem relevant to you, please apply here! We offer subsidized tickets to accepted attendees who are otherwise not able to attend. If you have any questions or comments on these events, please reach out to beatrice@foresight.org.
 

Existential Hope Day, as satellite to EAG Bay Area, February 27, 2023, in SF

Aims to explore the potential positive futures that could be created through advancements in technology, and to help bridge the gap between risk and policy researchers and scientists working in for example biotechnology, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, computing, AI, and space technologies. 

The goal of the event is to map out both the risks and possibilities of these fields, and to bring together individuals and organizations that are working towards future-positive outcomes. 

Speakers:

  • Toby Ord, University of Oxford: Existential Hope Fireside Chat
  • Robin Hanson: Post Dreamtime Futures
  • Creon Levit, Planet Labs: Existential Hope Across Physics, Biology, and Space
  • Tamara Winter, Stripe Press: Progress Media
  • Christine Peterson, Foresight Institute: Historic Perspectives on Long-term Futurism
  • Allison Duettmann, Foresight Institute: Gaming the Future: Intelligent Voluntary Cooperation
  • Jessy Kate Schingler, OpenLunar: Outer Space & Coordination
  • Riva Tez, investor: Flourishing Futures

Whole Brain Emulation Workshop, as satellite to EAG London, chaired by Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute, May 22 - 23, 2023, in Oxford

This workshop focuses on exploring the potential of whole brain emulation (WBE) as a technology for generating software intelligence that is aligned with human values. We will aim to review the current state of the art in WBE-related technology, outline plausible development paths and necessary steps for full WBE, and determine whether there is potential for speeding up WBE development. We will also be considering any strategic, risk, or ethical issues that might speak against this approach. 

Speakers:

  • Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute
  • Todd Huffman, e11: Slicing & Mapping Your Brain
  • Michael Andregg, Fathom: Compute Considerations for WBEs
  • Michael Shuhersky, MIT
  • Kenneth Hayworth, HHMI: Brain Emulation Prospects
  • Logan Collins, Washington University: Emulating Insect Brains
  • Randall A. Koene, Carboncopies
  • Sumner Norman, Caltech

Space Workshop, chaired by Creon Levit, Planet Labs, June 4 & 5, 2023 in SF

This workshop is focused on advancing progress in space technologies, with a focus on both near-term applications and long-term exploration. It will touch both on the technology and the governance of the future in space. 

Speakers: 

  • Creon Levit: Satellite Trajectories
  • Jessy Kate Schingler: Outer Space Law
  • Adam Brown: Long-term Futures in Space

Cryptography, Security, AI Workshop, chaired by Mark S. Miller, Agoric, July 10 - 11, 2023, in SF

This workshop is focused on exploring the intersection of cryptography, security, and AI and its potential importance for beneficial futures. We will explore areas such as how technology can help civilization cooperate and defend itself better, while also considering the immense impact of AI on the field of decentralized computation. 

Speakers:

  • Michael Andregg: AI & Compute Overview
  • Mark Miller, Agoric: Computational Market Places
  • Robin Hanson, George Mason University: Slow AI Takeoff Scenarios
  • Divya Siddarth, Microsoft: The Collectively Intelligent AI Corporation

Molecular Systems Design Workshop, chaired by Ben Reinhardt, Speculative Technologies, Adam Marblestone, Convergent Research, September 11 - 12, 2023 in SF

This workshop is focused on exploring how advancements in software and simulation can be used to speed up the design of complex molecular machines systems. The goal of the event is to foster cooperation towards shared long-term goals in this field and map out what is needed to make progress.

Speakers:

  • Adam Marblestone, Convergent Research
  • Alexis Courbet: Computational Design of Self-Assembling DNA Nanomachines
  • William Shih: Self-assembling DNA Nanostructures
  • Chris Schafmeister: CANDO & Programmable Spiroligomers
  • Ben Reinhardt, PARPA
  • Hein-Pieter van Braam: User-friendly Molecular System Design
  • Stephane Redon: SAMSON Computational Nanoscience Updated
  • Petr Sulc, Arizona State University: Computer-aided Design for Nanotechnology

In addition to our events, we also encourage people to apply to join our technical groups:

  1. Molecular Machines to better control matter
  2. Biotech to reverse aging 
  3. Computer Science to secure human AI cooperation
  4. Neurotech to support human flourishing
  5. Spacetech to further exploration

In these groups, we connect scientists, entrepreneurs, and institutional allies who cooperate to advance the respective technologies. Currently, meetings take place virtually every month. To join any of these groups, apply here.

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