AI has the potential to be a radically transformative technology. Continued progress could bring profoundly important benefits, including major scientific advances and reductions in illness and poverty. However, this progress could also bring substantial risks. Governments, technology companies, and other key institutions are facing increasingly difficult decisions about how to respond to the challenges posed by AI. We support these institutions by producing relevant research and guidance. We help new researchers and practitioners enter the field by running fellowships and visitor programs. We also strengthen connections by hosting events, with the goal of building a thriving global AI governance community.
You can read more about our mission and how we pursue it in our most recent annual report.
The central focus of our research is threats that general-purpose AI systems may pose to security. We seek to understand the risks they pose today, while also looking ahead to the more extreme risks they could pose in the future.
Ultimately, most of our research aims to increase understanding of the following questions:
Responsible Development: How can general-purpose AI developers make responsible development and deployment decisions?
Regulation: How can governments use their regulatory toolboxes to ensure that AI developers and users behave responsibly?
International Governance: What role can international coordination play in reducing risks from AI?
Compute Governance: How can public and private decisions about access to compute shape outcomes?
The Centre for the Governance of AI (GovAI) was founded in 2018 by Allan Dafoe, then an Associate Professor in the International Politics of AI at the University of Oxford. GovAI was initially a part of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, before becoming an independent non-profit in 2021. GovAI succeeded two earlier AI governance research groups: the Oxford-based Governance of AI Program (founded in 2017) and the Yale-based Global Politics of AI Research Group (founded in 2016).
GovAI is now led by Ben Garfinkel, a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Allan Dafoe serves as the chair of the organisation's Board of Advisors. Our team and affiliate community possess expertise in a wide variety of domains, including AI regulation, responsible AI development practices, compute governance, AI lab corporate governance, US-China relations, and AI progress forecasting. Our Board of Advisors contains representatives from academia, industry, and the policy community. Read more about our governance structure and approach to conflicts of interest here.