Probabilities, methodologies and the evidence base in existential risk assessments (CCCR2018)

Published on 17 April 2019

Simon Beard is a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), University of Cambridge. 

Dr Beard explores a range of methodologies that have been proposed for making useful claims about the probability of phenomena that would contribute to existential risk. He also makes some suggestions to improve best practice in existential risk assessment. These suggestions centre on the types of probabilities used in risk assessment, the role of methodology rankings including the ranking of probabilistic information, the extended use of expert elicitation, and the use of confidence measures to better communicate uncertainty in probability assessments.

This talk was given at 2018’s Cambridge Conference on Catastrophic Risk (CCCR2018), the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk’s major international conference, supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. It focused on four challenges faced by research communities focused on existential and global catastrophic risk research: Challenges of Evaluation and Impact; Challenges of Evidence; Challenges of Scope and Focus; and Challenges in Communication.

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