The most important questions and problems

What are the most important questions to answer? What are the most important problems to solve? Various people and organizations in the effective altruist community have compiled lists of such questions and problems. This post provides links and brief descriptions of all the lists I’m currently aware of. (Note that many of these lists focus on specific causes or disciplines, such as artificial intelligence or moral philosophy.)

80,000 Hours

A ranking of the top 10 most pressing global problems, rated by scale, neglectedness, and tractability.

AI Impacts

A list of tractable and important AI-relevant projects. See also their list of possible empirical investigations.

Foundational Research Institute

A comprehensive ranking of open research questions, rated by importance.

Future of Life Institute

A survey of research questions for robust and beneficial AI.

Global Priorities Institute

A detailed list of important problems.

Open Philanthropy Project

A list of technical and philosophical questions that could influence OpenPhil’s grantmaking strategy.

Nick Beckstead

A list of valuable research questions, with a focus on the long term.┬áSee also Nick’s presentation on ‘Jobs I wish EAs would do‘.

Robin Hanson

A list of important and neglected problems.

Will MacAskill

A list of the most important unresolved problems in moral philosophy.

Luke Muehlhauser

A comprehensive list of potential studies that could, if carried out, illuminate our strategic situation with regard to superintelligence.

Anders Sandberg

A short list of the best problems to work on, intended as a supplement to 80,000 Hours’ ranking. See also Anders’ final answer in this interview, which mentions the research questions that he believes are most relevant to space colonization.