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Stanford Existential Risks Initiative

Founded in January 2020, SERI is the first American university-affiliated institution of its kind dedicated to safeguarding the future of humanity.

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Our Mission

SERI is an interdepartmental collaboration between Stanford faculty and students dedicated to mitigating global catastrophic risks and improving the long-term prospects for flourishing human civilization. We focus on four areas: high-impact research, student career development, longtermism/existential risk advocacy, and faculty engagement.

Summer 2020 Undergraduate Research Program

SERI ran its inaugural Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship this past summer, funding 20 undergraduate students to work with a mentor (a faculty member or industry professional) to carry out a 10-week research project dedicated to mitigating global catastrophic risks. Through speaker events, discussion groups, and social events, we also educated the cohort on the broader field of existential risks, built up our community of existential risk-focused researchers, and provided opportunities for students to explore career pathways.

Some projects from the program include a project exploring the potential of data visualization to communicate compelling GCR-scale arguments and tackle cognitive biases, a project applying models of economic growth to AI-enabled technological growth in hopes of understanding plausible timelines for transformative AI, and a project designing an ideal building fitted with a variety of engineering non-pharmaceutical interventions to mitigate both seasonal and catastrophic infectious agents.

People

Steve Luby

Steve Luby

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Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards

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