Seminar series: Big Picture Thinking

On long timescales, where is humanity headed? What are the big uncertainties? What does that mean for decisions today? In this series of lectures, led by Dr. Owen Cotton-Barratt, we will tackle these issues, and explore the questions that feed into them. Many are multidisciplinary, and progress often draws on knowledge and tools from economics […]

Three areas of research on the superintelligence control problem

This is a guide to research on the problem of preventing significant accidental harm from superintelligent AI systems, designed to make it easier to get started on work in this area and to understand how different kinds of work could help mitigate risk. I’ll be updating this guide with a longer reading list and more detailed […]


A relatively atheoretical perspective on astronomical waste

Nick Beckstead, Oxford University, Future of Humanity Institute Introduction It is commonly objected that the “long-run” perspective on effective altruism rests on esoteric assumptions from moral philosophy that are highly debatable. Yes, the long-term future may overwhelm aggregate welfare considerations, but does it follow that the long-term future is overwhelmingly important? Do I really want […]

Extraterrestrial colonies

Will we eventually be able to colonize other stars? Notes from a preliminary review

Nick Beckstead, Oxford University, Future of Humanity Institute Summary I investigated this question because of its potential relevance to existential risk and the long-term future more generally. There are a limited number of books and scientific papers on the topic and the core questions are generally not regarded as resolved, but the people who seem […]