Each year, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute – non-profit that investigates safety issues related to the development of new artificial intelligence platforms – holds fundraiser; and this year the Institute has revealed that more than 66% of all donations received were made through cryptocurrencies.
The Machine Intelligence Research Institute, which was founded in 2000, aims to ensure the survival of the human race alongside hyper-intelligent machine systems. The Institute continues its operations as the emergence and interaction between human beings and artificial intelligences becomes more commonplace – whether seen on advanced hardware or commonplace items such as personal computers or smartphones.
The non-profit revealed that of a total sum of $2.5 million USD, some $1.66 million (around 66%) was successfully raised through cryptocurrency donations in the form of Bitcoin or Ethereum. Further, a significant donation of $763,970 USD in Ether (some 893 ETH at press time) was received from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
Buterin has previously been outspoken on the parity between cryptoeconomics research and existential risk (X-Risk) studies, elaborating on Medium that:
“Both the cryptoeconomics research community and the AI safety/new cyber-governance/existential risk community are trying to tackle what is fundamentally the same problem: how can we regulate a very complex and very smart system with unpredictable emergent properties using a very simple and dumb system whose properties once created are inflexible?”
The donation marks a second high-profile sum from Vitalik Buterin in as many months. In January of 2017, it was revealed that the Ethereum co-founder donated a massive sum of some $2.4 million USD’s worth in Ether to the SENS Research Foundation, which focusses on developing new, rejuvenative therapies to prevent aging.
The Foundation has also received multiple large donations made in Bitcoin (reportedly totaling some $2 million USD) from Bitcoin-only charity fund Pineapple Fund.
In the same month, UNICEF appealed to gamers around their world to lend their support and utilize high-end graphics cards to mine Ether, and subsequently donate to relief efforts based in Syria through an initiative dubbed ‘Game Chaingers’.
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