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2023 End of Year Summary
Michael Dello-Iacovo
Strategy Lead and Researcher
November 24, 2023

Last year’s 2022 End of Year Summary was published just five days before the launch of ChatGPT. This event surprised many in the field, and the global spotlight has illustrated how important it is to understand human-AI interaction. Our priority continues to be researching the rise of digital minds: AIs that have or are perceived as having mental faculties, such as reasoning, agency, experience, and sentience. We hope to answer questions such as: What will be the next ‘ChatGPT moment’ in which humanity’s relationship with AI rapidly changes? How can humans and AIs interact in ways that are beneficial rather than destructive?

The highlight from our 2023 research is the Artificial Intelligence, Morality, and Sentience (AIMS) survey with the same questions as in 2021, so we can compare public opinion from before to after recent events, as well as an additional AIMS 2023 Supplement on Public Opinion in AI Safety. Data like this is typically collected once a social issue is fully in the public spotlight, so we’re eager to have this longitudinal tracking already in place before the rise of digital minds. In terms of outreach, we released two podcast episodes (and one in December 2022) and hosted an intergroup call on digital minds as well as a presentation by Yochanan Bigman.

Our ongoing work includes online experiments on how AI autonomy and sentience affect perceptions, developing a scale to measure substratism, and qualitative studies (e.g., interviews) of how people understand and interact with cutting-edge AI systems. We hope to raise $150,000 this giving season to continue our research on digital minds. We also have a few ongoing projects to address factory farming (our focus before 2021) funded with earmarked donations from donors, such as ongoing data collection for the 2023 iteration of our Animals, Food, and Technology (AFT) survey.

As always, we are extremely grateful to our supporters who share our vision and make this work possible. If you are able to in 2023, please consider making a donation.



Here is an example of the data from our survey questions:

More detail on our in-progress research is available in our Research Agenda.



So far this year we’ve spent $227,762, broken down approximately as follows (73% research, 5% outreach, 22% admin). In each category, expenses are primarily staff time but also include items such as data collection (research), podcast editing (outreach), and our virtual office subscription (admin).

We continue to maintain a Transparency page with annual financial information, a running list of mistakes, and other public information.

Room for more funding

We currently aim to raise $150,000 this giving season (November 2023–January 2024) to continue our digital minds research and field-building efforts.

We know that fundraising will continue to be difficult this year following the collapse of FTX and the rapid proliferation of new and growing AI organizations who are attempting to raise money in the space. We have substantial room for more funding for highly cost-effective projects. Our last hiring round in early 2023 had 119 applicants for a researcher position, including several we did not extend an offer to but could have with more available funding, and if you are interested in potentially making a major contribution, please feel free to reach out to discuss our room for expansion beyond $150,000.

Thank you again for all your invaluable support. If you have questions, feedback, or would like to collaborate, please email me at If you would like to donate, you can contribute via card, bank, stocks, DAF, or other means, and you can always just mail us a check directly.

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