Tuesday, December 19, 2023

RAND Corp. Received Millions From Facebook Co-Founder to Influence AI Policy

Here is more from Politico:

The RAND Corporation — a prominent international think tank that has recently been tied to  a growing influence network backed by tech billionaires — played a key role in drafting President Joe Biden’s new executive order on artificial intelligence, according to an AI researcher with knowledge of the order’s drafting and a recording of an internal RAND meeting obtained by POLITICO.

The provisions advanced by RAND in the October executive order included a sweeping set of reporting requirements placed on the most powerful AI systems, ostensibly designed to lessen the technology’s catastrophic risks. Those requirements hew closely to the policy priorities pursued by Open Philanthropy, a group that pumped over $15 million into RAND this year.

Financed by billionaire Facebook co-founder and Asana CEO Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna, Open Philanthropy is a major funder of causes associated with “effective altruism” — an ideology, made famous by disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, that emphasizes a data-driven approach to philanthropy.

At RAND, both CEO Jason Matheny and senior information scientist Jeff Alstott are well-known effective altruists, and both men have Biden administration ties: They worked together at both the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Council before joining RAND last year.

RAND spokesperson Jeffrey Hiday confirmed that RAND personnel, including Alstott, were involved in drafting the reporting requirements and other parts of the AI executive order.


The article notes that RAND employees having started to raise concerns about the think tank's new association with effective altruism.