I’m excited to announce that the organization I started founding last year, the Association for Long Term Existence and Resilience, has been launched and funded, and we’re going to be working on a number of projects to build up an academic and policy focus in Israel on preventing catastrophic and existential risks and improving the trajectory of humanity for the long-term future. Given that, I wanted to give a public update about what has been happening, and invite anyone in Israel who we're not already in touch with to contact us.
- We recently hired an operations manager, Naham Shapiro, who will be doing much of the day-to-day work of running things.
- We have made an offer to a researcher who will be doing mathematics research related to Vanessa Kosoy’s AI-safety research agenda, which was accepted. We are finalizing the details, but they will likely start in September or October.
- We have incorporated officially as a non-profit in Israel, (Amutah,) and are slowly working our way through the byzantine mess of regulations and requirements for being able to actually function.
- We are planning a conference for mid-October jointly with the Center for Humanities and AI, a new joint center between University of Haifa and the Technion, to introduce and promote AI safety research to Israeli academics and graduate students. Stuart Russell will be a keynote speaker, and we are working with a number of other AI-safety researchers internationally on the lineup. The goal is to encourage Israeli researchers' involvement in AI safety.
- As a follow-up to the conference, we are hoping to offer some combination of programming, grants, and other support to encourage people in Israel to work on AI research, and connect them with the international community.
- We have a website, which was designed in large part by Ben Schifman (Thanks!) and translated by Sariel Rabinowitz, with additional assistance and corrections from Joshua Fox and Vanessa Kosoy.
- The organization’s initial startup funding came from the EA infrastructure fund, and David Manheim, the director, received a grant from the Long Term Future Fund to cover his salary and further startup costs of the organization for the initial 6 months, which has been used for the organization.
- We have received a grant from FTXFF to fund most of our operations, regrants, policy work, and conferences over the next 18 months, as well as a separate recommended regrant from FTXFF to hire a researcher, mentioned above, to work on Vanessa Kosoy’s research agenda.
- We have recently also tentatively received a substantial grant from the Survival and Flourishing Fund. We are currently planning to use this both to plan additional future conferences, and as an operating reserve to allow us to expand our work if and when we find particularly promising opportunities. We tentatively expect that this funding will be sufficient through 2024, and potentially longer, depending on whether we fund additional AI safety research.
- We are actively planning on splitting EA Israel’s office space, both for myself on some days, for our new operations manager, and for other future staff. Naham is working from there, and I have begun to meet at the current office and coworking space once a week, and will be working out an arrangement for sharing their future office space.
We're excited to see how all of this evolves, and again, feel free to contact us with questions, or feel free to comment below.