Bio: Michael Anissimov (b. 1984) is a futurist and political thinker focused on emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, and Artificial Intelligence, previously managed Singularity Summit and worked as media director for the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, as well as co-founding Extreme Futurist Festival. The Singularity Summit has received coverage from Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, the San Francisco Chronicle, award-winning science writer Carl Zimmer, The Verge, and a front page article in TIME magazine. Mr. Anissimov emphasizes the need for research into artificial intelligence goal systems to develop “Friendly Artificial Intelligence” for human civilization to successfully navigate the intelligence explosion. He appears in print, on podcasts, in documentaries, public speaking at conferences, and other media to spread this message. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Long bio: Michael Anissimov is a futurist and political thinker focused on emerging technologies like nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, and Artificial Intelligence, and previously managed Singularity Summit. He is a science/technology writer and “futurist”, which just means someone who makes educated guesses about speculative technological probabilities. In 2002 he co-founded the Immortality Institute, a grassroots life extension advocacy organization, and began fundraising work for the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, an organization devoted to research on safe artificial intelligence. Concurrently, he pursued a freelance career in science and technology writing, contributing over 1,600 short factual articles to WiseGeek.com, a website that promises “clear answers for common questions”. WiseGeek receives about 80 million visitors monthly.
In January 2006, Mr. Anissimov expanded his capacity to inform others about the wonders of technology, intelligence, and their central significance to humanity’s future by starting a blog, Accelerating Future. Since its founding, the blog has received over seven million visits and been featured on G4.TV’s Attack of the Show and SciFi.com. Posts have appeared on the front page of Yahoo, Digg, and Reddit. Michael was interviewed by Psychology Today in 2008 , quoted in an IEEE Spectrum in 2010, and on CNN in 2012. His articles have appeared in h+ magazine. Since 2003, Michael has given talks on the risks and benefits of emerging technologies at conferences and seminars in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Palo Alto, and at Yale University, including events organized by the Foresight Institute, MIRI, and Humanity+.
Mr. Anissimov primarily focuses on artificial intelligence, molecular nanotechnology, transhumanism, intelligence enhancement, and extinction risk. He believes that humanity could rise or fall in the 21st century depending on how we handle these technologies. His views on the dangers of advanced technology are very similar to those presented by Bill Joy in his WIRED article, “Why the future doesn’t need us”, except Mr. Anissimov believes that relinquishment is infeasible. Instead, he advocates selective development — the acceleration of beneficial technologies (especially intelligence enhancement and Friendly AI) so that their problem-solving capabilities can be brought to bear on the risks of other advanced technologies.
Mr. Anissimov has been a consultant for a variety of future-oriented non-profit organizations and for-profit companies including the Methuselah Foundation and Kurzweil Technologies. On behalf of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, Michael has briefed the representatives of organizations such as the US Navy and spoken with reporters at outlets such as The New York Times, New Scientist, Scientific American, Financial Times, and many other publications.
Mr. Anissimov lives in Berkeley. He was born in Burlingame, CA, and moved to San Francisco in 2000, then Berkeley in 2011. Mr. Anissimov has climbed several mountains, including Mt. Shasta and Mt. Whitney in California and Mt. Elbrus in Russia, and enjoys long backpacking trips in the most isolated forest and mountain areas of California. His favorite dishes are borsch and piroshki, and his favorite ecosystem is the Hawaiian Rainforest.
For media inquiries and speaking requests, please email Michael at michaelanissimov(at)gmail(dot)com.