Recommended reading before contest submission


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Ground Rules

    • The year is 2045.
    • AGI has existed for at least 5 years.
    • Technology is advancing rapidly and AI is transforming the world sector by sector.
    • The US, EU and China have managed a steady, if uneasy, power equilibrium.
    • India, Africa and South America are quickly on the ride as major players.
    • Despite ongoing challenges, there have been no major wars or other global catastrophes.
    • The world is not dystopian and the future if looking bright.

What you need to supply

1. A timeline with entries for each year between 2022 and 2045 giving at least two events (e.g. “X invented”) and one data point (e.g. “GDP rises by 25%”) for each year. Participants are encouraged to fill all the data points on the timeline but will still be accepted and judged at a disadvantage if less than 23 years are provided. Submissions will be disqualified if less than 10 years are provided.

A template for this timeline is provided here and in the entry form. We ask participants to duplicate this form to work on. You will be asked to upload it in the application stage.

2. Two “a day in the life” pieces of between 750 and 1000 words, each depicting the life of an individual somewhere in the world in 2045 for one day.

3. Answers to a set of questions/prompts. Each answer must be less than 250 words.

3.1 AGI has existed for years, but the world is not dystopian and humans are still alive! Given the risks of very high-powered AI systems, how has your world ensured that AGI has at least so far remained safe and controlled?

3.2 The dynamics of an AI-filled world may depend a lot on how AI capability is distributed.  In your world, is there one AI system that is substantially more powerful than all others, or a few such systems, or are there many top-tier AI systems of comparable capability? Or something else?

3.3 How has your world avoided major arms races and wars, regarding AI/AGI or otherwise?

3.4 In the US, EU, and China, how and where is national decision-making power held, and how has the advent of advanced AI changed that, if at all?

3.5 Is the global distribution of wealth (as measured say by national or international gini coefficients) more, or less, unequal than 2022’s, and by how much?  How did it get that way?

3.6 What is a major problem that AI has solved in your world, and how did it do so?

3.7 What is a new social institution that has played an important role in the development of your world?

3.8 What is a new non-AI technology that has played an important role in the development of your world?

3.9 What changes to the way countries govern the development and/or deployment and/or use of emerging technologies (including AI), if any, played an important role in the development of your world?  

3.10 Pick a sector of your choice (education, transport, energy, communication, finance, healthcare, tourism, aerospace, materials etc.) and describe how that sector was transformed with AI in your world.

3.11 What is the life expectancy of the most wealthy 1% and of the least wealthy 20% of your world; how and why has this changed since 2022?

3.12 In the US, considering the human rights enumerated in the UN declaration, which rights are better respected and which rights are worse respected in your world than in 2022? Why? How?

In a second country of your choice, which rights are better and which rights are worse respected in your world than in 2022, and why/how?

3.13 What’s been a notable trend in the way that people are finding fulfilment?


4. One original non-text media piece, created after the opening of the contest.  This could be a piece of art, video, music, etc. Please limit your media piece to 5 minutes. The goal is to help bring your built world to life through vivid visual and/or auditory storytelling.

Evaluation criteria

Entries will be evaluated in the following ways:

Overall: Cohesiveness of the four elements of the application. The world should be plausible and  aspirational – one which is believable and in which people would be happy to inhabit.

Timeline: # of entries between 2022-2045. Coherence, specificity, and creativity of the timeline. 

Day in the life: Originality, quality of the writing. Illustrates an element(s) of the timeline and prompts.

Prompts: Quality of the answers – will exhibit an understanding of how technical and social systems work and don’t work, and be in line with plausible rates and types of technological and social advancement. Self-consistency of the world.

Media Piece: Qualitative judging. Illustrate aspects of the other three sections of the application.

Technicalities & Legalities

  • Although FLI will accept entries from anyone anywhere, the contest will be judged in English. Any entries in other languages will be (a) machine translated for first-round judging and (b) human-translated if they make it to the finalist list.
  • The Contest is open to everybody except employees and consultants (including Contest judges) of the Future of Life Institute and their family/household members (defined as parents, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents).
  • No person is allowed to submit more than one entry to the Contest, regardless if he or she is entering individually or as part of a collaboration. If more than one is uploaded, all except the first will be disqualified. (On the rare occasion when a replacement is requested by FLI, this will be handled outside of the usual submission system.) Collaborative entries written by more than one person can be submitted. If such an entry is awarded a Prize, it will be split equally among the collaborators per the “Prizes” section above.
  • FLI reserves the right to cancel or modify this Contest in the event that an insufficient number of entries are received that meet the minimum judging criteria.
  • This Contest shall be construed in accordance with U.S. law. All Federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.
  • Entries identified as finalists will be automatically posted on the FLI website together with authors’ names; after Prizes are awarded, contest Winners will be highlighted as such. FLI reserves no copyrights to the submitted work; however, by submitting an entry, the applicant hereby grants to FLI a worldwide, royalty-free license to so post the entry, as well as use the entry for internal and advertising, marketing and promotional purposes of the Contest, in perpetuity, in any and all media now known or hereafter invented.
  • By submitting an entry, entrant represents and warrants that the entry is entrant’s own creation and is 100% original work; is not subject to, and does not infringe upon, the rights of any third parties, including without limitation, copyright, trademark or privacy or publicity rights; and is not defamatory, obscene or otherwise illegal.  Entrant further warrants that the submitted “media piece” was created between the date of contest opening January 1st and entry submission. Entrants not complying with these requirements will be subject to disqualification. All entrants must have a valid email address. In case of dispute as to the identity of an entrant, the entry will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized Account Holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational, institution, etc.) responsible for assigning email addresses or the domain associated with the submitted email address. Any other attempted form of entry is prohibited: no automatic, programmed, robotic or similar means of entry are permitted. The Contest Entities are not responsible for technical, hardware, software, telephone or other communications malfunctions, errors or failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, website, Internet, or ISP unavailability, unauthorized human intervention, traffic congestion, incomplete or inaccurate capture of entry information (regardless of cause) or failed, incomplete, garbled, jumbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit one’s ability to enter this Contest, including any injury or damage to participant’s or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading any materials in this Contest.
  • All Prizes are subject to United States Income Tax. Winners are required to furnish FLI with appropriate tax forms for reporting the Prize, and applicable taxes may be withheld from the Prize.
  • Void where prohibited by law. FLI reserves the right to refuse to award any Prize if doing so violates any applicable laws.
  • By submitting an entry in the contest, the author agrees to release, defend and hold harmless the Contest Entities and each of their respective directors, officers, employees, agents, volunteers, the Contest judges, and their affiliates, heirs, successors and assigns from and against, and waive any right to pursue, any and all claims of any nature whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the Contest, the selection of Winners, and the use of the submitted entry, the author’s name, and biographical information as authorized under these Contest rules.
  • All decisions of the judges are final and the selection of Winners is at the sole and absolute discretion of FLI. FLI may at its discretion award less total prizes than listed above under “Prizes.”
  • Potential winners will be notified by e-mail on or about June 15th 2022, and may be required to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release/Prize Acceptance Form within fourteen (14) days of attempted notification. Each participant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements. If the winner cannot be contacted within seven (7) calendar days of first notification attempt, if prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, if winner rejects his/her prize or in the event of noncompliance with these Contest Official Rules, such prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected from all remaining eligible entries. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation will be given.
  • The names of Winners will be posted on on or about June 15th 2022.
  • Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission by Winner to use of his/her name, photograph and/or likeness for advertising, publicity and promotion purposes without compensation (unless prohibited by law).
  • There being nothing to purchase, no purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not increase your chance of winning.


Frequently asked questions

Why did FLI chose these ground rules?

The choice of constraints does not represents what FLI believes is most likely to happen or what the organization wants the future to look like. The rules were chosen as constraints to power a thought experiment – how did humanity overcome major challenges on the horizon? It was designed for contest participants to brainstorm solutions to wicked problems, because to be plausible (which is one of our judging criteria) the world needs to identify and address those. An aspirational world were things turn out well by pure luck is less plausible than a world where things turn out well because of human efforts and initiatives. The choice of challenges is entirely up to the participants and may reflect the interests or expertise of the different teams.

What is Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)?

Artificial intelligence today is generally considered narrow AI (or weak AI), in that it is designed and trained to perform a particular task (e.g. only facial recognition or only internet searches or only driving a car). However, the goal of several major AI research efforts is to develop artificial general intelligence (AGI or strong AI) with the same flexible and widely applicable intelligence humans enjoy. Such systems could replace or augment human intellectual work in a wide variety of domains and could potentially — by itself — do things like scientific research, engineering, negotiation, media production, and system design that currently require highly trained and talented people or teams.

Why is FLI running this contest?

If we can formulate a roadmap towards a future that is desirable, this can inspire real-world initiatives. It is very likely that these world builds will usefully and positively inform many people and activities – we will feature prizewinning world builds on FLI’s website and hope to work them into our overall institutional strategies, to find prospective collaborators, and connect storytellers with material to inspire them to tell a different stories about our future. Furthermore we are likely to run additional activities involving contest entrants.




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