Professor Allan Dafoe is Senior Research Fellow in the International Politics of AI and Director of the Governance of AI Program (GovAI) at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute (FHI).
Areas of interest
International politics of transformative artificial intelligence with a particular focus on the causes of great power cooperation and conflict.
What makes Oxford such a good place to work in AI?
Oxford provides an excellent environment to bring together a range of disciplines that are all necessary and critical to addressing emerging challenges such as those posed by artificial intelligence at the intersection of politics and governance. At the Governance of Artificial Intelligence Program, for example, we have brought together political scientists, philosophers, physicists, engineers, lawyers, and more. This has enabled us to disentangle and address complex research problems in a unique fashion, and ultimately produce novel impactful insights.
What is the biggest opportunity or challenge in AI?
The opportunities that artificial intelligence poses are tremendous; as a potent general purpose technology it can significantly advance important areas such as medicine, transportation, energy, education, science, and environmental sustainability. The risks, however, are also substantial, ranging from mass labour displacement and an oligopolistic global market structure, to strategic instability at a global scale. One of the most salient challenges is that of a great power AI race. This could lead to insufficient investment in safety, as AI actors cut corners to achieve relative advantage for profit and power. I believe the governance of AI will be the defining global issue of the century.
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