Organization mission: To develop the conceptual and technical wherewithal to reorient the general thrust of AI research towards provably beneficial systems. CHAI is a multi-institution research group with academic affiliates at a variety of other universities.
Artificial intelligence research is concerned with the design of machines capable of intelligent behavior, i.e., behavior likely to be successful in achieving objectives. The long-term outcome of AI research seems likely to include machines that are more capable than humans across a wide range of objectives and environments. This raises a problem of control: given that the solutions developed by such systems are intrinsically unpredictable by humans, it may occur that some such solutions result in negative and perhaps irreversible outcomes for humans. CHAI’s goal is to ensure that this eventuality cannot arise, by refocusing AI away from the capability to achieve arbitrary objectives and towards the ability to generate provably beneficial behavior. Because the meaning of beneficial depends on properties of humans, this task inevitably includes elements from the social sciences in addition to AI.