The Windfall Clause: Distributing the Benefits of AI for the Common Good

Cullen O’Keefe, Peter Cihon, Ben Garfinkel, Carrick Flynn, Jade Leung, and Allan Dafoe

The Windfall Clause is a policy proposal for an ex ante commitment by AI firms to donate a significant amount of any eventual extremely large profits garnered from the development of transformative AI. This report reviews the motivations for such a policy, enumerates central considerations regarding the design of the Clause, weighs up its limitations against alternative solutions, and situates the Windfall Clause in the broader conversation on the distribution of gains from AI. We hope to spark productive debate on such crucial issues, and contribute to the growing, global discussion centered around channeling technology-driven economic growth towards robustly equitable, broadly beneficial outcomes. 

Want to learn more? Read a summary of the reportthe full reporta paper published at the AAAI / ACM AI Ethics & Society conference, listen to Cullen O’Keefe’s talk about the idea, or watch this short video.

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