Survival and Flourishing
.Fund (SFF)

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SFF-2022-H1 S-Process Recommendations Announcement

In the first half of this year (2022-H1), five people participated as “Recommenders” in a single round of a grant-recommendation process for the funder Jaan Tallinn. 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 funder to finalize for some reason.
  2. Some additional grants might also appear on this list later as more details about them become clear.
Source Organization Amount Receiving Charity Purpose  
Jaan Tallinn Redwood Research Group Inc. $1,274,000 Redwood Research Group Inc. General support  
Jaan Tallinn Alpenglow Group Limited $908,000 The Centre for Effective Altruism General support of Alpenglow Group Limited  
Jaan Tallinn Nonlinear $599,000 Rethink Charity USA General support of Nonlinear  
Jaan Tallinn Language Model Safety Fund $582,000
($340,000)†
Players Philanthropy Fund General support of Language Model Safety Fund  
Jaan Tallinn 1Day Sooner $500,000
($75,000)†
1Day Sooner General support  
Jaan Tallinn Quantified Uncertainty Research Institute $461,000 Quantified Uncertainty Research Institute General support  
Jaan Tallinn Alignment in Complex Systems research group $425,000 Epistea z.s. General support of Alignment in Complex Systems research group  
Jaan Tallinn Association for Long Term Existence and Resilience (ALTER) $400,000 הארגון למען קיימות ארוכת טווח וחוסן (אלתר) General support of ALTER  
Jaan Tallinn Topos Institute $397,000
($50,000)†
Topos Institute General support  
Jaan Tallinn Convergent Research $389,000
($100,000)†
The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation General support of Convergent Research  
Jaan Tallinn Simon Institute for Longterm Governance $381,000 Centre for Effective Altruism Usa Inc. General support of Simon Institute for Longterm Governance  
Jaan Tallinn Social Science Prediction Platform $346,000 University of Toronto General support of Social Science Prediction Platform  
Jaan Tallinn Manifold Markets $343,000 Rethink Charity General support of Manifold Markets  
Jaan Tallinn The Charter Cities Institute $261,000 Center for Innovative Governance Research General support of The Charter Cities Institute  
Jaan Tallinn Median Group $250,000 Median Foundation General support of Median Group  
Jaan Tallinn Laboratory for Social Minds @ Carnegie Mellon University $244,000 Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) General support of Laboratory for Social Minds @ CMU  
Jaan Tallinn Consequence Foundries $168,000 Convergence Analysis General support of Consequence Foundries  
Jaan Tallinn Rethink Priorities $150,000 Rethink Priorities General support  
Jaan Tallinn Earth Law Center $100,000* Earth Law Center General support `
Jaan Tallinn The Goodly Institute $75,000 The Goodly Institute General support  
Jaan Tallinn Good Science Project $70,000 New Venture Fund General support of Good Science Project  
Jaan Tallinn Generation Pledge $70,000 Generation Pledge, Inc. General support  
Jaan Tallinn Sentience Institute $50,000 Sentience Institute General support  
Jaan Tallinn Existential Risk Observatory $44,000 Existential Risk Observatory General support  
Jaan Tallinn AIES 2022 organizers (supported by AAAI and ACM) $38,000 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence General support of AIES 2022 organizers  
Jaan Tallinn Global Catastrophic Risk Institute $15,000 Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs General support of Global Catastrophic Risk Institute  
Jaan Tallinn Foresight Institute $15,000
($80,000)†
Foresight Institute General support  
Jaan Tallinn Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative (RADVAC) $13,000 DBF Mind First Foundation Inc. General support of RADVAC  
Jaan Tallinn MSSM Foundation $5,000
($30,000)†
Maine School of Science and Mathematics Foundation General support  
Jaan Tallinn MISE Foundation, Ghana $5,000
($10,000)†
Benevity/ Online giving foundation General support of MISE Foundation, Ghana  
Jaan Tallinn Cave Exploration Society Inc. $5,000
($20,000)†
Cave Exploration Society Inc. General support  
Jaan Tallinn AddisCoder Inc. $5,000
($30,000)†
AddisCoder Inc. General support  

† Parentheses indicate speculation grant awarded to certain grantees, prior to the completion of the S-process round. If the speculation grant amount was higher than the S-process recommendation, it subsumed the S-process recommendation, so only the speculation grant amount is meant to be granted. If the speculation grant was less, it was deducted from the S-process recommendation, so the total granted is meant to be the amount of the S-process recommendation.

“*” Asterisks demarcate grants that were “controversial” in that one or more recommenders wished to publically disendorse the grant. Multiple asterisks correspond to multiple disendorsements.

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.

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 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.

Sharing of recommender 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 contributed their time and effort under the conditions of anonymity.