Allan Dafoe

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Allan Dafoe
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  • Political scientist
  • Professor

Allan Dafoe is a Canadian political scientist and an associate professor in the International Politics of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the University of Oxford.[1] He is known mostly for his research on the governance of AI. Dafoe’s other research interests include the Democratic peace theory|democratic peace, the role of honor and reputation in war, open research, and statistical methodology.[2]

Dafoe is founder and director of the Centre for the Governance of AI at the Future of Humanity Institute, at the University of Oxford.[3] The centre’s goal is to “help humanity capture the benefits and manage the risks of artificial intelligence”.[4] Dafoe is also a founding trustee of the Cooperative AI Foundation which seeks to “support research that will improve the cooperative intelligence of advanced AI systems for the benefit of all of humanity”.[5]


Dafoe’s work on likely timelines for the development of artificial general intelligence[6] and Americans' perceptions of the governance of AI[7] has been discussed widely in popular media.[8][9][10][11] Dafoe has written several articles and opinion pieces, including about the role of women's suffrage on the likelihood of war,[12] privacy considerations around COVID-19 apps|contact tracing apps,[13] the case for building cooperative AI,[14] and how to think about risks from artificial intelligence.[15] In his academic work, Dafoe has touched on the role of reputation and honor in conflict[16][17] technological determinism,[18] the Democratic peace theory|democratic peace,[19] open science,[20] as well as strategy and policy related to the governance of AI.[21]


  1. "Allan Dafoe". Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  2. "Allan Dafoe". Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  3. "DafoeCV.pdf" (PDF). Dropbox. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  4. FHI, Future of Humanity Institute-. "Future of Humanity Institute". The Future of Humanity Institute. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  5. "Cooperative AI - Foundation". Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  6. Grace, Katja; Salvatier, John; Dafoe, Allan; Zhang, Baobao; Evans, Owain (2018-05-03). "When Will AI Exceed Human Performance? Evidence from AI Experts". arXiv:1705.08807 [cs].
  7. Zhang, Baobao; Dafoe, Allan (2019-12-30). "U.S. Public Opinion on the Governance of Artificial Intelligence". arXiv:1912.12835 [cs].
  8. Kahn, Jeremy (2019). "U.S. Military Trusted More Than Google, Facebook to Develop AI". Bloomberg.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Piper, Kelsey (2019-01-09). "The American public is already worried about AI catastrophe". Vox. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  10. "Altmetric's top 100 research articles – 2017". Altmetric. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  11. Gray, Richard. "How long will it take for your job to be automated?". Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  12. Barnhart, Joslyn N.; Trager, Robert F.; Saunders, Elizabeth N.; Dafoe, Allan (2020-08-18). "Women's Suffrage and the Democratic Peace". ISSN 0015-7120. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  13. "Analysis | Contact tracing apps can help stop coronavirus. But they can hurt privacy". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  14. Dafoe, Allan; Bachrach, Yoram; Hadfield, Gillian; Horvitz, Eric; Larson, Kate; Graepel, Thore (May 2021). "Cooperative AI: machines must learn to find common ground". Nature. 593 (7857): 33–36. doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01170-0.
  15. "Thinking About Risks From AI: Accidents, Misuse and Structure". Lawfare. 2019-02-11. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  16. "Honor and War: Southern US Presidents and the Effects of Concern for Reputation | Institution for Social and Policy Studies". Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  17. Dafoe, Allan; Zwetsloot, Remco; Cebul, Matthew (2021-03-11). "Reputations for Resolve and Higher-Order Beliefs in Crisis Bargaining". Journal of Conflict Resolution: 0022002721995549. doi:10.1177/0022002721995549. ISSN 0022-0027.
  18. Dafoe, Allan (2015-11-01). "On Technological Determinism: A Typology, Scope Conditions, and a Mechanism". Science, Technology, & Human Values. 40 (6): 1047–1076. doi:10.1177/0162243915579283. ISSN 0162-2439.
  19. Dafoe, Allan; Kelsey, Nina (2014-09-01). "Observing the capitalist peace: Examining market-mediated signaling and other mechanisms". Journal of Peace Research. 51 (5): 619–633. doi:10.1177/0022343314536423. ISSN 0022-3433.
  20. Nosek, B. A.; Alter, G.; Banks, G. C.; Borsboom, D.; Bowman, S. D.; Breckler, S. J.; Buck, S.; Chambers, C. D.; Chin, G.; Christensen, G.; Contestabile, M. (2015-06-26). "Promoting an open research culture". Science. 348 (6242): 1422–1425. doi:10.1126/science.aab2374. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 26113702.
  21. Dafoe, Allan (2018). "AI Governance: A Research Agenda" (PDF). Centre for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute.

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