Becoming a Public Benefit Corporation, Hitting 1 Million Predictions, and Three New AI Forecasting Roles

3 min readSep 12, 2022

They Say The First Million Is the Hardest

As I’ve said before, the Metaculus forecasting platform and global community represent a wholly unique initiative in the epistemic technology landscape — one that’s growing steadily! Now the moment has finally arrived — we’ve crossed the 7-digit threshold. We have aggregated over 1,000,000 individual predictions on over 6,000 questions about the future trajectory of humanity. We can’t thank our forecasting community enough for your continued stream of contributions, ideas, and feedback. You make Metaculus what it is today, and we are thrilled to be able to continue growing with you.

To celebrate this milestone, we are planning to host a Forecasting Data Science Hackathon to enable community members to dive deep into the treasure trove of Metaculus data, collaborate, experiment, and share ideas with each other. Stay tuned for more information!

Re-Aligning Our Organizational Charter

In addition to this titanic growth milestone, I’m beyond excited to share another important update. Given the nature of our work with the forecasting community, nonprofits, foundations, public agencies, and academic research partners, we have decided to update our organizational structure to better reflect our values and actions in the world.

Metaculus is now officially a public benefit corporation. This change represents a formal acknowledgement of our aim to serve the public good.

The following commitments are now included in our charter, and will be reported on annually by our team:

  1. Fostering the growth, learning, and development of the forecasting and forecasting research communities.
  2. Supporting stakeholders who are serving the public good by informing their decision making.
  3. Increasing public access to information regarding forecasts of public interest.

Today, we are meeting these commitments mainly in three ways, by:

  1. Providing Forecasts as a Public Service: We provide aggregate forecasts on a range of important topics to the public and to nonprofit, NGO, and government partners, maintaining a track record of accuracy for each individual and for the community as a whole.
  2. Fostering a Global Forecasting Community: We provide a forum for an active, international forecasting community to gather, learn, practice, and grow.
  3. Supporting Forecasting Research: We help advance research and innovation in the field of forecasting science by providing access to data and collaborating with academic partners in the field.

Since I began leading Metaculus, we’ve explored different hypotheses about how to make the greatest positive impact on the world, and we have become more explicit about our purpose as an organization. As I shared in May, our ambitious mission is:

To build epistemic infrastructure that enables the global community to model, understand, predict, and navigate the world’s most important and complex challenges.

This mission is supported by our core values, and guides our decision-making and project selection. Seeking to contribute to the world’s most important and complex challenges led us to identify biosecurity, nuclear security, climate change, and AI as our four main areas of focus. In the rest of this post, I’ll just focus on updates related to our AI team.

Building A Dedicated AI Forecasting Team

One of the most important challenges of our time is navigating the future of transformative AI. The speed, sophistication, and impacts of AI technology development together comprise some of the most astonishing and significant events of our lifetimes, and we believe that AI development promises both enormous risks and opportunities for society. To help humankind navigate this crucial period, Metaculus is building a team dedicated to AI forecasting.

This team has already begun to form. I am delighted to congratulate our former Senior Machine Learning Engineer Lawrence Phillips on his recent promotion to AI Forecasting Lead. Lawrence is developing an exceptional operational and growth plan for the next year, and to support this plan is now hiring a Quantitative Research Analyst, an AI Forecasting Research Analyst, and a Machine Learning Engineer, with more roles to come soon. He’ll also be publishing a detailed roadmap in the near future. I encourage you to review the roles and apply here, where you’ll also find our other open positions. Once again, our deep appreciation goes to the forecasting community, as well as to our partners and supporters as we continue on this journey.

Gaia Dempsey
CEO, Metaculus