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UnPrEDICT SIGNED

Uncertainty and Precaution: Environmental Decisions Involving Catastrophic Threats

Total Cost €

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EC-Contrib. €

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Partnership

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Project "UnPrEDICT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.

Coordinator
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD 

Organization address
address: WELLINGTON SQUARE UNIVERSITY OFFICES
city: OXFORD
postcode: OX1 2JD
website: www.ox.ac.uk

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 2˙066˙976 €
 EC max contribution 2˙066˙976 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-10-01   to  2020-09-30

 Partnership

Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD UK (OXFORD) coordinator 2˙066˙976.00

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 Project objective

The goal of this project is to supplement or replace the precautionary principle with decision guidance that better handles both normative and empirical uncertainty in contexts of speculative but potentially catastrophic consequences. It has been claimed that emerging technologies such as geoengineering, biotechnology, or machine intelligence could have catastrophic impacts on human civilization or the biosphere, indicating the need for precaution until scientific uncertainty has been resolved. Yet it is unclear how to apply the precautionary principle to cases where the deeper investigations of scientific uncertainties that it calls for can themselves be a source of catastrophic risk (in e.g. gain-of-function research and geoengineering experiments). Furthermore, the precautionary principle fails to account for moral uncertainty —even though many decisions depend more sensitively on ethical parameters (e.g. our obligations to future generations, discount rates, intrinsic value of nature) than on remaining scientific uncertainties.

Building on recent advances in decision theory, computational modelling, and domain-specific risk assessment techniques, and using tools of analytic and moral philosophy, this project will: (1) develop methods that account for normative uncertainty by combining voting theory with ongoing work on moral uncertainty, identifying parameters that make the largest practical difference; (2) combine these with methods for dealing with sources of empirical ignorance (such as information hazards, anthropic shadow, model uncertainties) into a theoretically well-motivated framework that comprises normative and empirical uncertainty; (3) derive mid-level principles and procedures from this theoretical framework by working through three case studies (geoengineering, dual-use biotechnology, and automation and machine intelligence) offering better practical guidance on speculative but potentially catastrophic risks than does the precautionary principle.

 Publications

year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Benjamin Anders Levinstein
A Pragmatist’s Guide to Epistemic Utility
published pages: 613-638, ISSN: 0031-8248, DOI: 10.1086/693444
Philosophy of Science 84/4 2020-04-15
2020 Benjamin A. Levinstein, Nate Soares
Cheating Death in Damascus
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2020-04-09
2019 Ben Garfinkel, Allan Dafoe
How does the offense-defense balance scale?
published pages: 736-763, ISSN: 0140-2390, DOI: 10.1080/01402390.2019.1631810
Journal of Strategic Studies 42/6 2020-04-09
2020 Owen Cotton‐Barratt, Max Daniel, Anders Sandberg
Defence in Depth Against Human Extinction: Prevention, Response, Resilience, and Why They All Matter
published pages: , ISSN: 1758-5880, DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12786
Global Policy 2020-04-09
2019 Nick Bostrom, Allan Dafoe, Carrick Flynn
Policy Desiderata for Superintelligent AI: A Vector Field Approach
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2020-04-09
2017 Nick Bostrom
Strategic Implications of Openness in AI Development
published pages: 135-148, ISSN: 1758-5880, DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12403
Global Policy 8/2 2020-04-09
2018 Gregory Lewis, Piers Millett, Anders Sandberg, Andrew Snyder-Beattie, Gigi Gronvall
Information Hazards in Biotechnology
published pages: , ISSN: 0272-4332, DOI: 10.1111/risa.13235
Risk Analysis 2020-04-09
2019 Nick Bostrom
The Vulnerable World Hypothesis
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2020-04-09
2017 Anders Sandberg, Stuart Armstrong, Milan M. Cirkovic
That is not dead which can eternal lie: the aestivation hypothesis for resolving Fermi\'s paradox
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2020-04-09
2017 ANDERS SANDBERG, JOAO FABIANO
Modeling the Social Dynamics of Moral Enhancement: Social Strategies Sold Over the Counter and the Stability of Society
published pages: 431-445, ISSN: 0963-1801, DOI: 10.1017/s0963180116001109
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26/3 2020-04-09
2018 Seth D. Baum, Stuart Armstrong, Timoteus Ekenstedt, Olle Häggström, Robin Hanson, Karin Kuhlemann, Matthijs M. Maas, James D. Miller, Markus Salmela, Anders Sandberg, Kaj Sotala, Phil Torres, Alexey Turchin, and Roman V. Yampolskiy
Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2020-04-09
2020 Cullen O’Keefe, Peter Cihon, Ben Garfinkel, Carrick Flynn, Jade Leung, Allan Dafoe
The Windfall Clause: Distributing the Benefits of AI for the Common Good
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2020-04-09
2019 Andrew E. Snyder-Beattie, Toby Ord, Michael B. Bonsall
An upper bound for the background rate of human extinction
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-47540-7
Scientific Reports 9/1 2020-04-09

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