Resisted Technological Temptations Project

The Resisted Technological Temptations Project is a research project at AI Impacts. It aims to collect case studies of 'resisted technological temptations': situations where some actor might have expected to capture substantial value from pursuing a technology, but did not as a result of concerns about downsides that wouldn’t directly affect that actor.


This project aims to help answer the question, 'Under what circumstances can large concrete incentives to pursue technologies be overcome by forces motivated by uninternalized downsides, such as ethical concerns, risks to other people with no recourse, or risks the decisionmaker does not believe in?'

Answering this question is relevant to predicting how attitudes to potentially dangerous AI systems might affect the trajectory of AI development.

This project aims to answer the above question by collecting cases where this occurred and recording relevant details about them, including how much value was forgone, and what caused the technology to be resisted.


  1. Search for cases which might represent resisted technological temptations, through brainstorming, asking others, searching written work on related topics, etc.
  2. Choose a promising potential example
  3. Answer the questions in the Resisted Technological Temptation Guide1).


Case studies are listed at Incentivized technologies not pursued.

responses_to_ai/technological_inevitability/incentivized_technologies_not_pursued/resisted_technological_temptations_project.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/12 21:44 by