Safeguarded AI

Backed by £59m, this programme aims to develop the safety standards we need for transformational AI

Why this programme

As AI becomes more capable, it has the potential to power scientific breakthroughs, enhance global prosperity, and safeguard us from disasters. But only if it’s deployed wisely.

Current techniques working to mitigate the risk of advanced AI systems have serious limitations, and can’t be relied upon empirically to ensure safety. To date, very little R&D effort has gone into approaches that provide quantitative safety guarantees for AI systems, because they’re considered impossible or impractical.

What we’re shooting for

By combining scientific world models and mathematical proofs we will aim to construct a ‘gatekeeper’, an AI system tasked with understanding and reducing the risks of other AI agents.

In doing so we’ll develop quantitative safety guarantees for AI in the way we have come to expect for nuclear power and passenger aviation.

Our goal: to usher in a new era for AI safety, allowing us to unlock the full economic and social benefits of advanced AI systems while minimising risks.

This programme is split into three technical areas (TAs), each with its own distinct solicitations.

The first solicitation within TA1 – TA1.1 Theory – is open for applications now.

Apply for funding: TA1.1 Theory

Deadline: 28 May 2024 (12:00 BST)

The first solicitation for this programme focuses on TA1.1 Theory. We are looking for R&D Creators, individuals and teams that ARIA will fund and support, to research and construct computationally practicable mathematical representations and formal semantics to support world-models, specifications about state-trajectories, neural systems, proofs that neural outputs validate specifications, and “version control” (incremental updates or “patches”) thereof.

Applicants that are shortlisted following full proposal review, will be invited to meet with the Programme Director to discuss any critical questions/concerns prior to final selection.

Successful/unsuccessful applicants will be notified on 10 July 2024.

Meet davidad

Safeguarded AI has been designed and overseen by Programme Director David ‘davidad’ Dalrymple with feedback from the R&D community, as part of the opportunity space Mathematics for Safe AI.

davidad is a software engineer with a multidisciplinary scientific background. He’s spent five years formulating a vision for how mathematical approaches could guarantee reliable and trustworthy AI. Before joining ARIA, davidad co-invented the top-40 cryptocurrency Filecoin and worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Twitter.

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