Centre for the Governance of AI (GovAI)

Centre for the Governance of AI (GovAI)

GovAI’s mission is to build a global research community dedicated to helping humanity navigate the transition to a world with advanced AI.


GovAI was founded in 2018 by Allan Dafoe and was initially part of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute. It only became an independent non-profit in 2021.

What does GovAI do?

GovAI's mission is to build "a global research community, dedicated to helping humanity navigate the transition to a world with advanced AI." They aim to do so by conducting research, providing advice to governments about AI policy, and building a global research community dedicated to their mission. Read more about their theory of impact.

Is GovAI effective?

We think GovAI is one of the top charities promoting beneficial AI and thereby safeguarding the long-term future. They have an impressive track record of producing high quality research, providing advice to governments, and building the field of AI governance. As an example of their recent success, a paper written by GovAI's founder and President, Allan Dafoe, led to the creation of the Cooperative AI Foundation which aims to "support research that will improve the cooperative intelligence of advanced AI systems for the benefit of all of humanity" and has already received $15 million USD in funding). GovAI's alumni have gone into policy roles in the US government, the European Union, top AI Labs (such as DeepMind and OpenAI) and think-tanks such as the Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
Many grantmakers and charity evaluators interested in funding work that could improve the long-term future have supported GovAI.This includes grants from Open Philanthropy, the Survival and Flourishing Fund, and others listed in GovAI' annual report (including the Long-Term Future Fund). Likely due to this support, GovAI is a listed charity on the EA Funds, meaning that their team have assessed that GovAI has received "critical acclaim within the effective altruism community."

*To learn more about GovAI, read their 2021 Annual Report or their EA Funds page.

Fast Facts

  • GovAI’s research has been published in top journals, such as Nature, and covered by several major news outlets such as the BBC, The New York Times, and Vox.
  • In The Precipice Toby Ord — one of the leading experts on the risks facing humanity (and a cofounder of Giving What We Can) — argues that powerful but misaligned AI is the biggest threat to humanity’s survival this century.
  • GovAI’s research aims to better understand this risk, and what global norms, policies, and institutions might be able to reduce it.
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