Mila donations received

This is an online portal with information on donations that were announced publicly (or have been shared with permission) that were of interest to Vipul Naik. The git repository with the code for this portal, as well as all the underlying data, is available on GitHub. All payment amounts are in current United States dollars (USD). The repository of donations is being seeded with an initial collation by Issa Rice as well as continued contributions from him (see his commits and the contract work page listing all financially compensated contributions to the site) but all responsibility for errors and inaccuracies belongs to Vipul Naik. Current data is preliminary and has not been completely vetted and normalized; if sharing a link to this site or any page on this site, please include the caveat that the data is preliminary (if you want to share without including caveats, please check with Vipul Naik). We expect to have completed the first round of development by the end of July 2024. See the about page for more details. Also of interest: pageview data on, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donee information

Country Canada
Open Philanthropy Project grant review
Org Watch page
Key peopleYoshua Bengio
Launch date1993
NotesFounded in 1993 by Yoshua Bengio as Laboratoire d’Informatique des Systèmes Adaptatifs (LISA) and renamed to MILA around 2015

Donee donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 4 50,000 673,895 7,650 7,650 7,650 50,000 50,000 50,000 237,931 237,931 2,400,000 2,400,000 2,400,000
AI safety 4 50,000 673,895 7,650 7,650 7,650 50,000 50,000 50,000 237,931 237,931 2,400,000 2,400,000 2,400,000

Donation amounts by donor and year for donee Mila

Donor Total 2023 2021 2017
Open Philanthropy (filter this donee) 2,687,931.00 50,000.00 237,931.00 2,400,000.00
Effective Altruism Grants (filter this donee) 7,650.26 0.00 0.00 7,650.26
Total 2,695,581.26 50,000.00 237,931.00 2,407,650.26

Full list of documents in reverse chronological order (0 documents)

There are no documents associated with this donee.

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (4 donations)

Graph of top 10 donors (for donations with known year of donation) by amount, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
DonorAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 4)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Open Philanthropy50,000.0032023-05AI safety/technical research Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support a workshop on human-level artificial intelligence, led by Professor Jacob Steinhardt, that will bring together experts on AI and AI alignment."

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 1.
Open Philanthropy237,931.0022021-11AI safety/technical research Muehlhauser Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support a research project investigating AI consciousness and moral patienthood. The research will be conducted in collaboration with the Université de Montréal and the Future of Humanity Institute. This funding will support postdoctoral researchers and students studying the topic, as well as publications and workshops."

Other notes: Currency info: donation given as 295,900.00 CAD (conversion done via donor calculation).
Effective Altruism Grants7,650.2642017-09-29AI safety Initial research in Machine Learning undertaken at Mila (then known as the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms) and publication of these results. See for more context about the grant program. Currency info: donation given as 5,710.00 GBP (conversion done on 2017-09-29 via Bloomberg).
Open Philanthropy2,400,000.0012017-07AI safety/technical research Donation process: The grant page says: "We spoke with Professor Bengio and several of his students during our recent outreach to machine learning researchers and formed a positive impression of him and his work. Our technical advisors spoke highly of Professor Bengio’s capabilities, reputation, and goals."

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support technical research on potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence (AI). $1.6 million of this grant will support Professor Yoshua Bengio and his co-investigators at the Université de Montréal, and $800,000 will support Professors Joelle Pineau and Doina Precup at McGill University. We see Professor Bengio’s research group as one of the world’s preeminent deep learning labs and are excited to provide support for it to undertake AI safety research."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "Among potential grantees in the field, we believe that Professor Bengio is one of the best positioned to help build the talent pipeline in AI safety research. Our understanding, based on conversations with our technical advisors and our general impressions from the field, is that many of the most talented machine learning researchers spend some time in Professor Bengio’s lab before joining other universities or industry groups. This is an important contributing factor to our expectations for the impact of this grant, both because it increases our confidence in the quality of the research that this grant will support and because of the potential benefits for pipeline building. In our conversations with Professor Bengio, we’ve found significant overlap between his perspective on AI safety and ours, and Professor Bengio was excited to be part of our overall funding activities in this area. We think that Professor Bengio is likely to serve as a valuable member of the AI safety research community, and that he will encourage his lab to be involved in that community as well. We believe that members of his lab could likely be valuable participants at future workshops on AI safety."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The grant page says: "Our impression is that MILA is already fairly well-funded, and that its ability to use additional marginal funding is somewhat limited. Professor Bengio told us that the amount of additional yearly funding that he would be able to use productively for AI safety research is $400,000; we have decided to grant this full amount for four years ($1.6 million total). We have also granted two of Professor Bengio’s co-investigators at MILA who are also interested in working on this agenda, Professors Pineau and Precup, $200,000 per year ($800,000 total), which they estimated as the amount of funding they would be able to use productively."

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: The grant page says: "We expect to have a conversation with Professor Bengio six months after the start of the grant, and annually after that, to discuss his projects and results, with public notes if the conversation warrants it. In the first few months of the grant, we plan to visit Montreal for several days to meet Professor Bengio’s co-investigators and discuss the project with them. At the conclusion of this grant in 2020, we will decide whether to renew our support. If Professor Bengio’s research is going well (based on our technical advisors’ assessment and the impressions of others in the field), and if we have achieved a better mutual understanding with Professor Bengio about how his research is likely to be valuable, it is likely that we will decide to provide renewed funding. If Professor Bengio is using half or more of our funding to pursue research directions that we do not find particularly promising, it is likely that we would choose not to renew."

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee, though the amount of this followup grant is much smaller and the scope narrower than that of the original grant.

Other notes: See also for a Facebook share by David Krueger, a member of the grantee organization. The comments include some discussion about the grantee. Intended funding timeframe in months: 48; announced: 2017-07-19.