Donating to MIRI vs. FHI vs. CEA vs. CFAR

by ChrisHallquist 1 min read27th Dec 201345 comments

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In a discussion a couple months ago, Luke said, "I think it's hard to tell whether donations do more good at MIRI, FHI, CEA, or CFAR." So I want to have a thread to discuss that.

My own very rudimentary thoughts: I think the research MIRI does is probably valuable, but I don't think it's likely to lead to MIRI itself building FAI. I'm convinced AGI is much more likely to be built by a government or major corporation, which makes me more inclined to think movement-building activities are likely to be valuable, to increase the odds of the people at that government or corporation being conscious of AI safety issues, which MIRI isn't doing.

It seems like FHI is the obvious organization to donate to for that purpose, but Luke seems to think CEA (the Centre for Effective Altruism) and CFAR could also be good for that, and I'm not entirely clear on why. I sometimes get the impression that some of CFAR's work ends up being covert movement-building for AI-risk issues, but I'm not sure to what extent that's true. I know very little about CEA, and a brief check of their website leaves me a little unclear on why Luke recommends them, aside from the fact that they apparently work closely with FHI.

This has some immediate real-world relevance to me: I'm currently in the middle of a coding bootcamp and not making any money, but today my mom offered to make a donation to a charity of my choice for Christmas. So any input on what to tell her would be greatly appreciated, as would more information on CFAR and CEA, which I'm sorely lacking in.