Cambridge has opened a new £10 million research facility to study the impact of AI on humanity

The University of Cambridge has opened a £10 million research centre to explore the impact of artificial intelligence, Wired reports.

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence — first announced last December and funded with a research grant from the Leverhulme Trust — will study the impacts of this “potentially epoch-making technological development, both short and long term.”

The centre’s new website details a list of projects that its researchers will look at. Projects include:

  • Science, value, and the future of intelligence
  • Policy and responsible innovation
  • The value alignment problem
  • Kinds of intelligence
  • Autonomous weapons — prospects for regulation
  • AI: Agents and persons

The centre also writes on its website that its aim is to build a new interdisciplinary community of researchers, with strong links to technologists and the policy world.

Led by Cambridge philosophy professor Huw Price, the centre, which opened on Monday, will work in conjunction with the university’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), which is funded by Skype cofounder Jaan Tallinn and looks at emerging risks to humanity’s future including climate change, disease, warfare, and artificial intelligence.

Zoubin Ghahramani, deputy director of the new centre and professor of information engineering at Cambridge, said in a statement last December: “The field of machine learning continues to advance at a tremendous pace, and machines can now achieve near-human abilities at many cognitive tasks — from recognising images to translating between languages and driving cars.

“We need to understand where this is all leading, and ensure that research in machine intelligence continues to benefit humanity. The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence will bring together researchers from a number of disciplines, from philosophers to social scientists, cognitive scientists and computer scientists, to help guide the future of this technology and study its implications.”

Think it sounds interesting? Well, you could be in luck. The centre is currently looking for PhD students to focus on the “study of values and intelligence.”

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