Initial proposals (300–1000 words) due March 1, 2015
The Future of Life Institute, based in Cambridge, MA and headed by Max Tegmark (MIT), is seeking proposals for research projects aimed to maximize the future societal benefit of artificial intelligence while avoiding potential hazards. Projects may fall in the fields of computer science, AI, machine learning, public policy, law, ethics, economics, or education and outreach. This 2015 grants competition will award funds totaling $6M USD.
This funding call is limited to research that explicitly focuses not on the standard goal of making AI more capable, but on making AI more robust and/or beneficial; for example, research could focus on making machine learning systems more interpretable, on making high-confidence assertions about AI systems' behavior, or on ensuring that autonomous systems fail gracefully. Funding priority will be given to research aimed at keeping AI robust and beneficial even if it comes to greatly supersede current capabilities, either by explicitly focusing on issues related to advanced future AI or by focusing on near-term problems, the solutions of which are likely to be important first steps toward long-term solutions.
Please do forward this email to any colleagues and mailing lists that you think would be appropriate.
Before applying, please read the complete RFP and list of example topics, which can be found online along with the application form:
As explained there, most of the funding is for $100K–$500K project grants, which will each support a small group of collaborators on a focused research project with up to three years duration. For a list of suggested topics, see the complete RFP  and the Research Priorities document . Initial proposals, which are intended to require merely a modest amount of preparation time, must be received on our website  on or before March 1, 2015.
Initial proposals should include a brief project summary, a draft budget, the principal investigator’s CV, and co-investigators’ brief biographies. After initial proposals are reviewed, some projects will advance to the next round, completing a Full Proposal by May 17, 2015. Public award recommendations will be made on or about July 1, 2015, and successful proposals will begin receiving funding in September 2015.
References and further resources
 Complete request for proposals and application form: http://futureoflife.org/grants/large/initial
 Research Priorities document: http://futureoflife.org/static/data/documents/research_priorities.pdf
 An open letter from AI scientists on research priorities for robust and beneficial AI:http://futureoflife.org/misc/open_letter
 Initial funding announcement: http://futureoflife.org/misc/AI