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John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor in
Constitutional Law at Northwestern University Law School, joins our
Advisory Board, becoming our 1,500th member. He joins Ray Kurzweil,
Nobel Laureates Eric S. Maskin and Wole Soyinka, and many other
luminaries, to participate in the Lifeboat Foundation goal of
The Lifeboat Foundation Advisory Board is broken up into 38 subboards
ranging from Human Trajectories to Particle Physics to Space Settlement
and has developed 26 programs ranging from a BioShield program to a
NanoShield Program to a SecurityPreserver Program. More information
about these programs is available at lifeboat.com/ex/programs.
The Lifeboat Foundation is developing a world-class think tank with a
rich cognitive diversity of philosophers, economists, biologists,
nanotechnologists, AI researchers, educators, policy experts, engineers,
lawyers, ethicists, futurists, neuroscientists, physicists, space
experts, and other top thinkers to help humanity survive existential
risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies,
including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics/AI, as we
move towards the Singularity.
Unlike most organizations, whose advisory boards are too small to do
more than provide some advice, our think tank provides action as well as
words. Our board members have developed programs, created reports,
donated money, fueled our blog, created educational videos, joined our
staff, launched numerous forums, organized events, and provided input on
a range of issues from web design to grant proposals to ideas for new
areas that Lifeboat Foundation should be involved in.
John O. McGinnis, M.A., J.D. is George C. Dix Professor in
Constitutional Law at Northwestern University Law School.
John authored the important paper "Accelerating AI" available at
In this paper he describes why strong AI has a substantial possibility
of becoming a reality and then sketches the two threats that some
ascribe to AI. He shows that relinquishing or effectively regulating AI
in a world of competing sovereign states cannot respond effectively to
such threats, given that sovereign states can gain a military advantage
from AI, and that even within states, it would be very difficult to
prevent individuals from conducting research into AI. Moreover, he
suggests that AI-driven robots on the battlefield may actually lead to
less destruction, becoming a civilizing force in wars as well as an aid
to civilization in its fight against terrorism. Finally, he offers
reasons that friendly artificial intelligence can be developed to help
rather than harm humanity, thus eliminating the existential threat.
He concludes by showing that, in contrast to a regime of prohibition or
heavy regulation, a policy of government support for AI that follows
principles of friendliness is the best approach to artificial
intelligence. If friendly AI emerges, it may aid in preventing the
emergence of less friendly versions of strong AI, as well as distinguish
the real threats from the many potential benefits inherent in other
forms of accelerating technology.
For more information about the Lifeboat Foundation Advisory Board, visit
About Lifeboat Foundation
The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization
dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity
survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful
technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and
robotics/AI, as we move towards the Singularity.
For more information, please click here
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