Future of Humanity Institute

FHI is a multidisciplinary research institute at the University of Oxford. Academics at FHI bring the tools of mathematics, philosophy and social sciences to bear on big-picture questions about humanity and its prospects. The Institute is led by Founding Director Professor Nick Bostrom.

Subscribe

Occasional announcements from FHI.

The Edges of Our Universe

This paper by Toby Ord explores the fundamental causal limits on how much of the universe we can observe or affect. It distinguishes four principal regions: the affectable universe, the observable universe, the eventually observable universe, and the ultimately observable universe. It then shows how these (and other) causal limits set physical bounds on what […]

Moral Uncertainty: Toby Ord Book Release
Very often we are uncertain about what we ought, morally, to do. How should we make decisions in the face of such uncertainty? Moral Uncertainty, a new book by William MacAskill, Toby Ord & Krister Bykvist, tackles this question. Decision-making in the face of fundamental moral uncertainty is underexplored terrain: William MacAskill, Krister Bykvist, and [...]
The Vulnerable World Hypothesis

Scientific and technological progress might change people’s capabilities or incentives in ways that would destabilize civilization. This paper introduces the concept of a vulnerable world: roughly, one in which there is some level of technological development at which civilization almost certainly gets devastated by default, i.e. unless it has exited the “semi-anarchic default condition”.

Inferring the effectiveness of government interventions against COVID-19

Jan Brauner (DPhil Scholar) and Mrinank Sharma (DPhil Affiliate) published Inferring the effectiveness of government interventions against COVID-19 in Science. The paper currently has the 7th highest attention score (measured by Altmetric) of all Science publications.

Toby Ord contributes to UN Human Development Report 2020

The UN’s latest Human Development Report features a 7-page piece by Toby Ord on existential risk and the protection of humanity’s longterm potential. Toby said of the piece: I’ve long admired the HDR, and referred to it often when I worked on global poverty. So it’s great to be able to give something back, and […]

The New Yorker writes a profile on Toby Ord and The Precipice
Earlier this year Toby Ord, a Senior Research Fellow at FHI, published The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity. In The Precipice, Toby argues that safeguarding humanity's future is among the most important moral issues of our time. Toby has recently had related  pieces published in Project Syndicate and The Economist. The New [...]