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. Research is urgently needed to understand the implications of advanced AI. Ultimately, we believe, positive outcomes may require the development of new global norms, policies, and institutions.
Our research is guided by our research agenda and theory of impact, drawing on political science, computer science, economics, law, and philosophy. We aim to define and map the field of AI governance and address the most important and neglected research questions. Our fellowships and prizes support promising early-career researchers working on AI governance. We run seminars and conferences to better connect the field of AI governance and build a thriving global research community.
Our researchers have advised decision makers in government, industry, and civil society. Our alumni have gone on to policy roles in the US government; top AI labs including DeepMind and OpenAI; and think-tanks such as the Center for Security and Emerging Technology. Our research agenda, published in 2018, helped define and shape the nascent field of AI governance. Research by our President Allan Dafoe, developing the framework of “cooperative AI,” has led to the creation of a $15 million philanthropic foundation. We have made prominent contributions to the ongoing public debate over the risks that advanced AI may pose.
Our researchers have published in leading journals and conferences, including Nature, Nature Machine Intelligence, International Organization, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, Journal of Strategic Studies, AAAI AIES, and NeurIPS. We have published op-eds in The Washington Post, War on the Rocks, and Lawfare. Our research has also been covered by Bloomberg, Vox, Axios, MIT Technology Review, New York Times, the BBC, Reuters, and The Verge.
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 (FHI), 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 FHI. Allan Dafoe serves as the organization’s President. Our team and affiliate community possess expertise in a wide variety of domains, including US-China relations, arms race dynamics, EU policy, 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.