Future of Humanity Institute FHI

of the University of Oxford

Linked with Policy Foresight and Global Catastrophic Risks, and with Probing the Improbable: Methodological Challenges for Risks with Low Probabilities and High Stakes.

The Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) is a unique multidisciplinary research institute at the University of Oxford. FHI belongs to the Faculty of Philosophy and the James Martin 21st Century School. (About).

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Address: The Future of Humanity Institute FHI, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Suite 8, Littlegate House, 16/17 St Ebbe’s Street, Oxford, OX1 1PT, England;
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Mission
: FHI’s mission is to bring excellent scholarship to bear on big-picture questions for humanity. Our work centres on how anticipated technological developments may affect the human condition in fundamental ways‒-and how we can better understand, evaluate, and respond to radical change. We currently pursue four interlinked research programs: 

  • Human enhancement: How can medicine and technology be used to enhance basic biological capacities, such as cognition and lifespan? Can enhancement be ethical and wise?
  • Global catastrophic risks: What are the biggest threats to global civilization and human well-being? How can the human species survive the 21st century?
  • Rationality and wisdom: How can we make better decisions under conditions of profound uncertainty and high stakes? How can we reduce bias and human error in our decision-making?
  • Future technologies: What would be the impacts of potentially transformative technologies such as advanced nanotechnology and artificial intelligence?

Despite the great theoretical and practical importance of these issues, they have received scant academic attention. FHI enables a few outstanding and creative intellects to work on these pivotal problems in close collaboration. Our goal is to pioneer research that demonstrates how such problems can be rigorously and fruitfully investigated.

Our research staff is drawn from a variety of fields, including physics, neuroscience, economics, and philosophy. Several of us have an academic background in more than one discipline. We use whatever intellectual tools we judge most likely to be effective for the specific problem at hand, often combining the techniques of analytic philosophy with those of theoretical and empirical scientific inquiry.

FHI also works to promote public engagement and informed discussion in government, industry, academia, and the not-for-profit sector.

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