Safe Transformative AI via a Windfall Clause

08/20/2021
by   Paolo Bova, et al.
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Society could soon see transformative artificial intelligence (TAI). Models of competition for TAI show firms face strong competitive pressure to deploy TAI systems before they are safe. This paper explores a proposed solution to this problem, a Windfall Clause, where developers commit to donating a significant portion of any eventual extremely large profits to good causes. However, a key challenge for a Windfall Clause is that firms must have reason to join one. Firms must also believe these commitments are credible. We extend a model of TAI competition with a Windfall Clause to show how firms and policymakers can design a Windfall Clause which overcomes these challenges. Encouragingly, firms benefit from joining a Windfall Clause under a wide range of scenarios. We also find that firms join the Windfall Clause more often when the competition is more dangerous. Even when firms learn each other's capabilities, firms rarely wish to withdraw their support for the Windfall Clause. These three findings strengthen the case for using a Windfall Clause to promote the safe development of TAI.

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