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.
Case studies are listed at Incentivized technologies not pursued.