Survival and Flourishing
.Fund (SFF)

SFF versus SAF: SFF facilitates grants to existing charities; for smaller grants and service contracts for long-termist projects that don't yet have an institutional home, visit SAF.

SFF-2021-H1 S-process Recommendations Announcement

In the first half of this year (2021-H1), six people participated as “Recommenders” in a single round of a grant-recommendation process for the funders Jaan Tallinn (independent) and Jed McCaleb (independent). The following Recommenders in this round agreed to have their identities made public:

How final grant amounts were determined: The “S-process”

We call the recommendation process used in this grant round the “S-process”, for “Simulation Process”, because it involves allowing the Recommenders and funders to simulate a large number of counterfactual delegation scenarios using a table of marginal utility functions. Recommenders specified marginal utility functions for funding each application, and adjusted those functions through discussions with each other as the round progressed. Similarly, funders specified and adjusted different utility functions for deferring to each Recommender. In this round, the process also allowed the funders to make some final adjustments to decide on their final intended grant amounts.

The S-process app is still being developed for broader use.

Final recommendations

Most of the final endorsed recommendations of this round of the S-process are listed below. These numbers have resulted from numerical inputs from both funders and Recommenders, which represented estimates of the marginal utility of granting to each organization. Note that:

  1. Some of the grants below might not happen if they are logistically difficult or time-consuming for the funders (Jaan Tallinn, Jed McCaleb) to finalize for some reason.
  2. Some additional grants might also appear on this list later as more details about them become clear.
  3. Some grants might be made as a result of the information shared in this S-process round that will not be counted as fully endorsed by the round, because each Recommender in the round had the unilateral ability to veto the group’s official endorsement of any particular grant. Grants not officially endorsed in this way will not appear on the list below.
Source Organization Amount Receiving Charity Purpose
Jaan Tallinn Center For Applied Rationality $1,207,000 Center For Applied Rationality General Support
Jaan Tallinn LessWrong $1,055,000 Center For Applied Rationality General support of LessWrong
Jaan Tallinn Alpenglow Group Limited $1,013,000 The Centre for Effective Altruism General support of Alpenglow Group Limited
Jaan Tallinn David Krueger’s Research Group at Cambridge $1,000,000 Cambridge in America General support of David Krueger’s Research Group
Jaan Tallinn Dr. Andrew Critch at CHAI, UC Berkeley $898,000 UC Berkeley Foundation General support of Dr. Andrew Critch at CHAI, UC Berkeley
Jaan Tallinn Long-Term Future Fund $675,000 Centre for Effective Altruism General support of Long-Term Future Fund
Jaan Tallinn BERI-FHI Collaboration $478,000 Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative General support of BERI-FHI Collaboration
Jaan Tallinn Expii, Inc. $347,000 Idea Foundry General support of Expii, Inc.
Jaan Tallinn BERI-SERI Collaboration $333,000 Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative General support of BERI-SERI Collaboration
Jaan Tallinn Generation Pledge $291,000 Generation Pledge, Inc. General Support
Jaan Tallinn Legal Priorities Project $265,000 Legal Priorities, Inc. General Support
Jaan Tallinn Centre for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute $253,000 Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative General support of Centre for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute
Jaan Tallinn AI Impacts $221,000 Machine Intelligence Research Institute General support of AI Impacts
Jaan Tallinn AI Safety Support $200,000 Rethink Charity General support of AI Safety Support
Jaan Tallinn Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters $175,000 Players Philanthropy Fund General support of Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters
Jaan Tallinn All-Party Parliamentary Group for Future Generations $171,000 Founders for Good General support of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Future Generations
Jaan Tallinn New Science Research, Inc. $147,000 New Science Research, Inc. General Support
Jaan Tallinn Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge $145,000 Cambridge in America General support of Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge
Jaan Tallinn Center for Innovative Governance Research (dba Charter Cities Institute) $137,000 Center for Innovative Governance Research (dba Charter Cities Institute) General Support
Jaan Tallinn Moonlight Institute $127,000 Moonlight Institute General Support
Jaan Tallinn Convergence: Project AI Clarity $103,000 Convergence Analysis General support of Convergence: Project AI Clarity
Jaan Tallinn Viento $102,000 Social Good Fund General support of Viento
Jaan Tallinn Centre for Enabling EA Learning & Research $61,000 Centre for Enabling EA Learning & Research General Support
Jaan Tallinn Global Catastrophic Risk Institute $48,000 Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs General support of Global Catastrophic Risk Institute
Jaan Tallinn BERI-CSER Collaboration $37,000 Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative General support of BERI-CSER Collaboration
Jaan Tallinn Convergence $13,000 Convergence Analysis General Support of Convergence
Jaan Tallinn Laboratory for Social Minds at Carnegie Mellon University $11,000 Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) General support of Laboratory for Social Minds at Carnegie Mellon University
Jed McCaleb AI Impacts $82,000 Machine Intelligence Research Institute General support of AI Impacts
Jed McCaleb New Science Research, Inc. $51,000 New Science Research, Inc. General Support
Jed McCaleb Expii, Inc. $41,000 Idea Foundry General support of Expii, Inc.
Jed McCaleb Centre for Enabling EA Learning & Research $21,000 Centre for Enabling EA Learning & Research General Support
Jed McCaleb BERI-FHI Collaboration $17,000 Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative General support of BERI-FHI Collaboration
Jed McCaleb Centre for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute $17,000 Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative General support of Centre for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute
Jed McCaleb BERI-SERI Collaboration $14,000 Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative General support of BERI-SERI Collaboration

Note that the S-process system is designed to generally favor funding things that at least one recommender is excited to fund, rather than things that every recommender is excited to fund. As such, the grant recommendations above do not especially represent the “average” opinion of the group in any sense. On the other hand, as described above, each Recommender participating in this round of the S-process had the unilateral ability to veto any organization from appearing in the final endorsed outputs of the process appearing here. As such, there in principle could be organizations that one or more Recommenders were excited to fund, and that one or more funders decided to fund as a result of this round, but that do not appear on this list because public endorsement of the grant by the S-process was vetoed.

SFF specifically will still continue making all of the grants it makes eventually publicly visible on its homepage, but if some of those grants are not endorsed by an S-process round, they will not be listed as an S-process grant.

Freedoms compatible with the S-process

The S-process is designed to allow a lot of freedom and autonomy for the Recommenders and the funders. Funders retain the right and freedom to make and/or recommend grants that the S-process, as a whole, did not endorse, based on information the funders learn from the S-process. As well, the Recommenders and funders are free to communicate with each other as much as they want outside of the S-process structure. As such, while the S-process might be useful in helping the funders to learn about grant-making opportunities and opinions, the funders need not be limited by the outputs of the S-process in order for it to function.

Private sharing of input documents

Each Recommender’s own inputs to the process (both initial and final versions) are free for that Recommender to share privately or publicly in any form and for any use-case, as long as they anonymize any other Recommenders who have requested anonymity, and respect the privacy of the organizations who applied to the round. In particular, the S-process does not require Recommenders to avoid sharing their own (appropriately anonymized) inputs, even when sharing some documents might make it somewhat easier in principle for an adversary to reverse-engineer the inputs of other Recommenders. The spirit of the S-process is, however, to discourage this sort of intentionally adversarial de-anonymization, as it is disrespectful of the Recommenders who volunteered their time and effort under the conditions of anonymity.