Research and development of artificial intelligence has been making major strides and the transformative potential of artificial intelligence has been making headlines. Putin recently said that the nation which leads in AI will “be the ruler of the world,” while Hillary Clinton described the USA as “totally unprepared” for the impact of AI.

GoodAI are aiming to use their General AI Challenge and the AI Roadmap Institute to ensure the safe development of AI and make sure we are prepared. The next round of the General AI Challenge will launch on 18 January 2018 and will provide a platform for discussion on how to mitigate the pitfalls of a potential race to AI.

The Problem

As stakeholders attempt to develop truly transformative AI (this could be a human-level artificial general intelligence or a sufficiently powerful specialized AI) there is a risk that it could turn into a race.

Two of the main concerns of a race to transformative AI are:

  • Key stakeholders, including the developers, may ignore or underestimate safety procedures, or agreements, in favor of faster utilization
  • The fruits of the technology won’t be shared by the majority of people to benefit humanity, but only by a selected few

The next round f the General AI Challenge will see participants coming up with ideas of how we can create a better future and make sure AI is used to improve the lives of as many people as possible.


To help guide participants of the round, GoodAI’s AI Roadmap Institute has been holding workshops with leading experts in the field to outline key questions to be solved. The most recent blogpost, which was published in December 2017, is a Report from the AI Race Workshop, Tokyo.

The blog opens up some vital questions about the AI race and gives useful tips on what can be done now including:

  • Study and better understand the dynamics of the AI race
  • Figure out how to incentivize actors to cooperate
  • Build stronger trust in the global community by fostering discussions between diverse stakeholders and being as transparent as possible
  • Avoid fearmongering around both AI and AGI which could lead to overregulation
  • Discuss the optimal governance structure for AI development, including the advantages and limitations of various mechanisms such as regulation, self-regulation, and structured incentives
  • Get involved with the development of the next round of the General AI Challenge

This workshop followed on from another which took place at our offices in Prague and outlined the problem in more details. A report from that workshop was published in September 2017 - Avoiding The Precipice: Race Avoidance in the Development of Artificial General Intelligence.

Other Aims

The fundamental aim of this round of the General AI Challenge is to find a solution, or set of solutions, to the problems of the AI race. However, the round will also aim to raise awareness of the topic and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. The development of AI is already influencing people’s lives and a truly transformative AI will likely have profound impacts on the whole of society. Therefore, it is vital to promote AI safety research beyond the boundaries of the small AI safety community.

Further information including a reading list for the round can be found on the General AI Challenge website and full specifications of the round will be available from 18 January 2018.