Professor Nick Bostrom

Professor Nick Bostrom

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Author, Superintelligence & AI Thought-Leader

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Having studied physics, philosophy and computation neuroscience, Nick has become one of the world’s leading authorities on the nature and implications of artificial intelligence. The founding Director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute and the director of Oxford’s Strategic Artificial Intelligence Research Centre, his internationally acclaimed book Superintelligence has prompted debate and comment from the likes of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk.


Nick Bostrom is one of the world’s leading thinkers on the implications and potential effects of artificial intelligence and developments in technology. He is the author of the acclaimed Superintelligence and is the founding Director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute.

Born and raised in Sweden, and intellectually curious from childhood, Nick studied a wide range of subjects in parallel including physics, computational neuroscience, and mathematical logic as well as philosophy and was subsequently expelled from Umeå University psychology department for studying too much. He studied physics and neuroscience in London, where he also dabbled in standup comedy and theatre.

Since then Nick has founded the Future of Humanity Institute (part of the Oxford Martin School) which takes a multidisciplinary look through mathematics, philosophy and science at big-picture question for humanity and global priorities. He also directs Oxford’s Strategic Artificial Intelligence Research Centre, co-founded the World Transhumanist Association, and was involved in the founding of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies to stimulate wider discussion about the implications of future technologies, in particular technologies that might lead to human enhancement.

Nick now takes a global platform to lead discussions on areas such as AI and its effects on humanity and the world. He highlights the need to examine the implications of these developments, warning that overlooking just one area of significant impact could undermine all the previous hard work in the area. These areas stretch from the philosophical and ethical to the purely rational when considering the possibilities of human enhancement, human-like reasoning and learning, machine intelligence and the advent of AI that improves itself without human interference.

Despite the high-level of work Nick is involved with, he has a natural ability to make these ideas relevant, understandable, and even entertaining. His international best-selling, influential book Superintelligence examines how the brain alone led to the human dominance of the planet. Should something surpass human intelligence, we could then be reliant on it for our survival in the way gorillas now rely on humans more than other gorillas. Humanity’s one advantage: we’re there first and get to set the conditions for intelligence to come. The book has been praised by some of the most respected voices in technology and science, and has been cited by the likes of Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates in the debate over AI.

Nick has also been listed twice on Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers list and featured on Prospect magazine’s World Thinkers list, one of the youngest people to appear.

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Book written by Professor Nick Bostrom