AI Vignettes Project

Posted Oct 12 2021

The AI Vignettes Project is an ongoing effort to write concrete plausible future histories of AI development and its social impacts.



We hope to:

  • Check that abstract views about the future of AI have plausible concrete instantiations. (Especially, hypothesized extinction scenarios, and proposed safe scenarios.)
  • Develop better intuitions about possible scenarios by thinking through them concretely.
  • Notice recurring themes in concrete stories, that may be worth thinking about more broadly.
  • Fill out the space of plausible feasible scenarios with concrete illustrations, to decrease bias in thinking about the future.
  • Keep a collection of AI vignettes for others to use, in the above or other ways.


Our current intended method is:

  1. Write draft vignettes, with no particular systematic method for choosing an unbiased selection of scenarios
  2. Request comments on their realism
  3. Modify according to comments
  4. Repeat 2-3 until realism critiques subside

Work so far

AI Impacts has run two small workshops where participants wrote AI vignettes.

Vignette collection

This is a subset of vignettes arising from this project, or similar.

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