The Association For Long Term Existence And Resilience (ALTER)

We investigate, demonstrate, and foster useful ways to improve the future in the short term, and to safeguard and improve the long-term trajectory of humanity

ALTER

ALTER, the Association for Long Term Existence and Resilience, is an academic research and advocacy organization, based in Israel, which hopes to investigate, demonstrate, and foster useful ways to improve the future in the short term, and to safeguard and improve the long-term trajectory of humanity. The Hebrew name, הארגון למען העתיד הרחוק, translates roughly to Organization for Long-Termism, with an acronym, אלתר, which is both a transliteration of the English acronym, and has a connotation related to acting immediately, and improvising.

Fostering ways to alter

the long-term trajectory of humanity

Using the framing of long-termism and human flourishing to focus on immediate actions, we hope to demonstrate and foster useful ways to alter the long-term trajectory of humanity in the short term, keeping in mind the risks of hasty action and unilateralism, without being paralyzed by uncertainty
Artificial Intelligence

Research on decreasing risks from self-driving cars and algorithmic bias are important, but may be ignoring longer term concerns. What failure modes exist for a society increasingly dependent on complex systems? What is the trajectory of artificial intelligence as it reaches or surpasses human levels of ability in a growing number of specific tasks, and possibly human general intelligence as well?

Long Term Tradeoffs

The future is arguably vast, spanning billions of years. Humanity may expand far beyond earth, so that improving technology and economic growth have tremendous potential. At the same time, there are critical near-term problems in the world, from hunger and poverty, to near-term risks of catastrophe including climate and international conflict, to animal suffering and global mental health. How can or should we balance these concerns?

Pandemics

The risks of natural pandemics may be increasing due to environmental encroachment, population growth, and failures of international coordination. At the same time, the risks are decreasing due to improved biosurveillance, better medical technology, and faster vaccines. Anthropogenic risks, however, from bioengineering, accidents, and biological warfare pose unclear new threats.

Progress Studies

How can we ensure that technological progress continues to improve lives? What are the critical ways in which technology improves human lives, and how can we ensure that future technologies continue the long-term trend of making humanity safer, healthier, and happier? Which institutions can ensure that occurs, and how can we ensure that they last in the long term?

Our Supporters

The FTX Future Fund and the Survival and Flourishing Fund have graciously provided funding for our operations, planned conferences, and grantmaking for the coming 2 years. Prior to this, the Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund provided initial startup costs for ALTER, as well as suggestions for the organization, and we received for support from the Long Term Futures Fund for supporting the ongoing research of David Manheim, and his time spent on administrative overhead in starting the organization.

FTX Future Fund
EA Infrastructure Fund
Long Term Futures Fund

Survival and Flourishing .Fund (SFF)

Learn more about

us and our research.

We are currently working on building out capacity and presenting more information about the research we will be doing. To see David Manheim’s published research, click here.

David
Director, ALTER