The Singularity Institute
for Artificial Intelligence
was founded on July 27, 2000
. The founding members currently make up its board of directors, and are composed of Brian Atkins
, Sabine Atkins
, and Eliezer Yudkowsky
The Singularity Institute, or SingInst for short, works toward the purpose of aiding all of humanity through the development of key Artificial Intelligence technologies such as Seed AI and Friendly AI.
From the bylaws of the SingInst:
The creation of greater-than-human intelligence - an event known as the "Singularity" - would bring about an immediate, worldwide, and material improvement in the human condition. The charitable purpose of the Corporation is to foster, support, accelerate, and implement the Singularity, to the transcendent benefit of all humanity. The creation of computer-based or "artificial" intelligence is one of the primary pathways to the Singularity"
Eliezer Yudkowsky is probably the most well known of all the board members, as his Meaning of Life FAQ and essays on how to build Seed and Friendly AIs have turned countless numbers towards this growing and ever more important field. He expounds on the beneficial nature of the Singularity quite succinctly in one of his many essays available at the Low Beyond.
I'm working to stop it. There are a lot of evil things in the world, and powerful forces that produce them - Murphy's Law, blind hate, negative-sum selfishness. But there are also healers. There are, not forces, but minds who choose to oppose the ugliness. So far, maybe, we haven't had the knowledge or the power to win - but we will have that knowledge and that power. There are greater forces than the ugliness in the world; ultratechnologies that could crush Murphy's Law or human stupidity like an eggshell. I can't show an abused child evidence that there are powerful forces for good in the world, forces that care - but we care, and we're working to create the power. And while that's true, there's hope.
There is no evil I have to accept because "there's nothing I can do about it". There is no abused child, no oppressed peasant, no starving beggar, no crack-addicted infant, no cancer patient, literally no one that I cannot look squarely in the eye.
The SingInst is a non-profit corporation, federally tax exempt, and accepts charitable contributions in any amount.