GCRI is a nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank that analyzes the risk of events that could significantly harm or even destroy human civilization at the global scale.

Featured Publication

Assessing the Risk of Takeover Catastrophe from Large Language Models

For over 50 years, experts have worried about the risk of AI taking over the world and killing everyone. The concern had always been about hypothetical future AI systems—until recent LLMs emerged. This paper, published in the journal Risk Analysis, assesses how close LLMs are to having the capabilities needed to cause takeover catastrophe.

Recent Publications
On the Intrinsic Value of Diversity

On the Intrinsic Value of Diversity

Diversity is a major ethics concept, but it is remarkably understudied. This paper, published in the journal Inquiry, presents a foundational study of the ethics of diversity. It adapts ideas about biodiversity and sociodiversity to the overall category of diversity. It also presents three new thought experiments, with implications for AI ethics.

Manipulating Aggregate Societal Values to Bias AI Social Choice Ethics

Manipulating Aggregate Societal Values to Bias AI Social Choice Ethics

AI ethics concepts like value alignment propose something similar to democracy, aggregating individual values into a social choice. This paper, published in the journal AI and Ethics, explores the potential for AI systems to be manipulated in ways analogous to sham elections in authoritarian regimes.

The Origin and Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Expert Survey

The Origin and Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Expert Survey

Was COVID-19 caused by a natural spillover from wild animals to humans or a research-related accident? And what would each potential origin mean for future pandemics? This report addresses these questions in a survey of 168 virologists, infectious disease epidemiologists, and other scientists from 47 countries.

All-Hazards Policy for Global Catastrophic Risk

All-Hazards Policy for Global Catastrophic Risk

Whereas government policy for global catastrophic risk often addresses one risk at a time, this report argues that governments should pursue policies that address multiple global catastrophic risks at a time. All-hazards policies would leverage similarities and linkages between the risks to achieve more benefits for reducing the risk.

From the Archive
Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization

Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization

What will be the fate of human civilization millions, billions, or trillions of years into the future? This paper, written by an international group of 14 scholars and published in the journal Foresight, studies several possible long-term trajectories of human civilization, including the radically good and catastrophically bad.

A Model for the Probability of Nuclear War

A Model for the Probability of Nuclear War

There has only been one nuclear war: World War II. That’s not enough data to calculate the probability. Instead, this report presents a probability model rooted in 14 nuclear war scenarios. It includes a dataset of 60 historical incidents, such as the Cuban missile crisis, that may have threatened to escalate into nuclear war.


GCRI conducts interdisciplinary research across the global catastrophic risks, with emphasis on six topics.

GCRI Topics

Following an initial global catastrophe event, some humans may still be alive, struggling to survive, holding on to what’s left of civilization. The stakes are extremely high: the difference between humanity regaining its former glory or suffering a dark and premature death. Society today can prepare for catastrophe and help the survivors succeed. GCRI’s research on the aftermath sheds light on this dark and vitally important topic.


Concern about AI catastrophe has existed for many decades. It has recently become a lightning rod for debate alongside the growing societal prominence of AI technology. GCRI’s AI research helps to ground the discussion in the underlying character of the risk and develop solutions that help across a range of AI issues. GCRI is also active in AI ethics, providing perspective on the question of what values to build into AI systems.


Instead of thinking in terms of specific global catastrophic risks in isolation from each other, it is often better to think holistically about the entirety of global catastrophic risk. This includes interconnections between the risks and actions that can affect multiple risks. GCRI was specifically founded as an organization dedicated to studying the whole of global catastrophic risk and this remains a priority for GCRI’s ongoing work.

The world still possess about 10,000 nuclear warheads, enough to cause massive global devastation. As long as adversarial relations between nuclear-armed countries persist, there will be some chance of escalation to nuclear war. To help address the risk, GCRI contributes risk analysis of the probability and severity of nuclear war and solutions for reducing the risk, especially for global effects such as nuclear winter.

Decision analysis can help to identify decision options and their consequences, including their effect on risks. Risk analysis can characterize potential harms and quantify them in terms of their probability and severity. GCRI applies risk and decision analysis methods to global catastrophic risk. GCRI’s approach balances between the value of quantitative analysis and the pitfalls of quantifying deeply uncertain parameters.

To successfully reduce global catastrophic risk, it is necessary to formulate solutions that would reduce the risk if implemented and that will actually be implemented. This often involves engaging with people and institutions that may not have global catastrophic risk as a priority. GCRI’s research develops solutions that account for the priorities of the relevant decision-makers to achieve significant reductions in the risk.

Founded in 2011, GCRI is one of the oldest active organizations working on global catastrophic risk. We provide intellectual and moral leadership to support the broader field of global catastrophic risk.

About GCRI


Read about GCRI’s mission, history, organization structure, finances, and more.


The GCRI team is led by senior experts in the field of global catastrophic risk.

Official Statements

GCRI publishes occasional statements about important current events, issues within the field, and organizational matters.


GCRI welcomes inquiries from journalists to advance public understanding of global catastrophic risk.

Join GCRI and many others around the world in helping to address humanity’s gravest threats.

How to Get Involved

Learn More

Continue reading the GCRI website to learn more about GCRI, about global catastrophic risk, and more.

Stay Informed

To stay up to date, follow the GCRI blog or subscribe to the GCRI newsletter. The newsletter sends emails at most once per month.


GCRI’s annual Advising and Collaboration Program, which welcomes inquiries from anyone interested in working on global catastrophic risk.


GCRI is nonprofit and relies on grants and donations to fund its activities. Visit our donate page to contribute.