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Help Us

Right AI Laws, to Right Our Future
Join the Global Grassroots United Front
#WeStakeOutAI #HaltDeepfakes

Our Story

Before we dive into our individual journeys, it's crucial to acknowledge that as of publishing on February 5th, 2024, the initial few months of working at StakeOut.AI has been without any salary for the co-founders. Which means effectively:

  • Harry Luk has volunteered full-time for five full months
  • Amy Frieder has volunteered full-time for three full months
  • Dr. Peter S. Park has balanced seven months of part-time work (3-5 hours daily) on top of his role as a postdoctoral researcher at MIT

During this time...

StakeOut.AI has achieved some notable milestones:

📜 Researched a 'scorecard' evaluating existing AI governance proposals, which was presented at the first-ever International AI Safety Summit in November 2023

📽️ Raised awareness, such as via the webinar hosted for the AI-threatened professional group SAG-AFTRA (Hollywood Actors)

⚖️ Contributed to multiple AI law formulation processes through submissions to the U.S. Federal Offices on regulations.gov

📑 Worked tirelessly behind the scenes to gather signatures for multiple open letters and petitions that influence decision-makers

​🎤 Informed the public via various media interviews, including speaking out in the New York Times against certain AI industry leaders who believe "humanity should roll over and let the robots overtake us"

These milestones were made possible because we chose to focus on making an impact over fundraising during the first four months.

This decision seemed right at first, but we are now confronted with reality: sustaining efforts against the unaccountable AI industry requires financial support.

We're thrilled to announce that in our fifth month, we've enabled donations directly to StakeOut.AI via Givebutter, opening a new avenue for those who believe in our cause to offer their support.

We extend a heartfelt thank you to Simon Thiel from Germany

for being our first-ever donor. His contribution has given us encouragement beyond words can describe. Every donation, regardless of its size, helps our mission of contributing to transparent, ethical, responsible, and safe AI.

The truth is, we're novices when it comes to fundraising

Without prior experience or established networks, we are realizing just how hard it is to navigate this landscape

If you have any tips on successful fundraising strategies, or connections willing to support our cause, please reach out—we’re eager for guidance!

​From our journey, we've learned an important lesson: while passion can drive us forward, practical support is crucial to keep any initiative going. Balancing passion with practicality is key to long-term success.

Dr. Park's short story

In 2022, inspired by the capabilities of AI demonstrated by DALL-E 2, I pivoted my Harvard Ph.D. research from human cognitive science to AI cognitive science. This shift led me to join an AI safety research group and later secure mentorship under MIT’s Max Tegmark, focusing on both the technological and the societal impacts of AI.

My perspective evolved from viewing AI safety as a purely technical challenge to understanding it as a broad societal issue that demands democratic participation and oversight. I learned that ensuring technology's safety extends beyond programmers in the AI industry—it requires the engagement of everyone affected by these AI advancements. This realization spurred me to co-found StakeOut.AI, aiming to foster a future where AI benefits humanity through informed public involvement and legislative action.

Amy's short story

Embarking on a career fueled by a passion for social justice and equality, I chose public interest law over a lucrative $260,000 corporate defense offer after graduating from Harvard Law in 2022.

My work at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, and previously with the U.S. Air Force reflects my dedication to advocating for fairness, in different aspects of society.

Co-founding StakeOut.AI was a natural step in my journey, even though I knew going in it could encompass working without income while dipping into my savings—all the while still paying off looming student debts.

Now based in DC, I'm privileged to have a hand in influencing AI legislation towards protecting human well-being and ensuring safe AI use for future generations.

Harry's short story

They say they “miss the days” when only intellectual elites talked about AI safety, and even now, these inner circles think it’s a bad idea to let the general public in.

As a layperson deeply committed to our collective future, I stand firm in my belief in the global people’s power to affect change. I've seen only an increase of unregulated AI harm thus far without the public’s involvement, and it was excruciating to continue to sit on the sidelines.

To do my part in helping to influence the right AI laws to safeguard our kids’ futures, I've lost weight, sleep, sacrificed family time, and risked my family's finances.

I believe that this fight for humanity has been worth every effort spent.

The journeys of the co-founders highlight our shared commitment at StakeOut.AI towards ensuring a future where AI advances do not come at the expense of humanity but rather serve to enrich it.

Join the #WeStakeOutAI Movement & Protect Your Family

Now more than ever, your support is crucial in helping us continue this vital work.

Here’s how you can make an immediate impact:

Donate: Every contribution counts. Your generosity will be forever remembered.

Spread The Word: Unleash your influence as an AI Safety advocate and share about www.StakeOut.AI within your networks, friends and family.​

Engage With Us: Sign AI Safety petitions (take 59 seconds), follow our updates on the newsletter, and tell us your story (we'd love to hear from you!).​

​Together we can advocate for transparent, ethical and safe AI development that benefits everyone

Harry's Detailed Story

I was laid off in June 2023, which some suggested was AI-related. But what worried me the most wasn’t losing my job; what worried me was the future awaiting my kids in this unregulated AI-driven world. That concern drove me to dive deep into AI's potential dangers and eventually led me to co-found a nonprofit focused on addressing these issues.

Transitioning from a regular paycheck to dedicating all my time to the nonprofit hit our family finances hard. We tightened and cut back every daily expense dramatically—buying more second-hand items if we needed anything, halting the kids' extracurricular activities, and turning down social events that meant spending extra money. One of the hardest moments for me was seeing my wife prepare for a swap meet to sell some of our things—something she had never done before. She even considered taking an additional job given our financial situation despite already working full-time.

I knew starting up a nonprofit wouldn’t be easy, but I didn’t realize just how much there is to do until we were deep into it. The long hours—many days 12-15 hours in front of the screen—and sacrificing not just sleep but precious family time were problematic. This strain spilled over into discussions with my wife about our finances more than we'd like; those conversations broke me each time even though she stood by me through it all.

The one cool thing is I officially figured out how to lose 16 lbs (7.26 kgs) in 5 months - I’m now at the lightest weight I’ve ever been in my adult life! Don’t worry, I’m not going to package this into a “Secret to Weight Loss” online course where I detail how to bury yourself in a room, working hours on end, forgetting to eat meals, 6 days a week until you are so tired you drop. And no, I will not add an extra bonus of “Wake Up & Work Routine”, where I show you the secrets behind waking up at 3 am or 4 am after just 4-5 hours of sleep and going straight back to the screens because there is so much to do your brain won’t even let you go back to bed anyway… Haha. All jokes aside, it’s unhealthy—don’t follow my recklessness because health is paramount. This has been a significant learning experience for me and I’m focusing much more on work-life balance going forward.

As I've navigated these personal challenges, some doubts about our broader mission at StakeOut.AI have surfaced as well. Despite the strides we've made in raising awareness and advocating for change, moments of uncertainty linger—questions like “Am I stupid for risking my family’s finances?” or “Will all the effort poured into StakeOut.AI truly resonate with others or lead to meaningful changes in AI legislation?”

I'll be honest—I’ve never considered myself particularly smart, and there have been naysayers who maintain that AI safety discussions should be reserved for the intellectually elite, not grassroots nonprofits like StakeOut.AI or the general public. I’ll admit that failing an entire semester at engineering school was a low point for me—yes, an entire term. But I ultimately graduated on time with a research position awarded. If there’s one thing He has blessed me with, it’s work ethic and grit—the 'try hard or die trying' mindset. This relentless drive has propelled me forward despite numerous setbacks throughout my life journey.

Thus, despite these challenges and uncertainties, on top of my Christian faith that continues guiding me, I see with my own eyes what unregulated AI is doing to society every day. I know for a fact that if we come together—as history has shown so many times on other important issues—to sign petitions and voice our concerns as one, we can make a difference no matter how bleak it may seem. It might very well be giants we are fighting against but supporting good lawmakers out there will aid them in implementing the right AI laws to right our future, for both my family and yours.

Amy's Detailed Story

From the moment I stepped into Harvard Law, I was subconsciously aware of the path I wanted my career to take. It was not just about earning a degree; it was about preparing myself to make a substantial difference in the world, guided by the deep-rooted principles in me of fairness and equality. My journey, marked by a steadfast commitment to social justice and an 18-year-long dedication to vegetarianism and veganism, has always been about aligning my actions with my values.

After graduation in 2022, while many of my peers chose the lucrative route of corporate defense, I ventured into the realm of public interest law. This decision meant turning down an offer that could have easily secured me a six-figure annual salary. Instead, I chose to work at a civil rights and employment law firm, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, as a worker-side lawyer with a much smaller annual salary. I dedicated my efforts to represent private-sector employees in discrimination cases. Previously, I advocated for better conditions and pay for public-sector employees while working at a federal employee union. Choosing to serve the greater good felt right, aligning more closely with my values than any $260,000 job offer could.

My passion for social justice and commitment to serving others has driven my career choices long before StakeOut.AI. During my six-year service in the U.S. Air Force, where I served as an intelligence analyst within U.S. Cyber Command's Cyber National Mission Force, I volunteered for the Sexual Assault Prevention & Response program to defend those who were vulnerable.

But what piqued my interest in AI was a conference at the White House in 2016 about AI and its impact on the workforce. Then, during law school, I explored AI's impact on discrimination in the workforce, sparking my curiosity further. At Sanford Heisler Sharp, I joined the AI committee, sharing articles and research on the subject, with the intention of preparing us for AI-related discrimination cases.

Finally, when the opportunity came up to join the co-founding team at StakeOut.AI in November 2023 after my time at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, I leaped at it. There was a profound intersection of AI and employment, and I was driven by a deep-seated interest in AI and its societal implications now and for future generations.

Committing to StakeOut.AI meant a high possibility of volunteering full-time without pay. This was a challenging decision as I continue to pay off my student debt. I totally echo what Harry said: it wasn’t until I was deep into the role that I found out just how challenging it is to be a co-founder of a new startup nonprofit.

Yet, as painful as it has been for my personal life without a regular salary and dipping into my savings, as well as facing all the rejections and disappointments that are part of the nonprofit leader’s journey, I believe mitigating AI risks and contributing to a future where AI serves humanity ethically and justly is worth every effort spent.

I’m privileged to be on the ground in DC, leveraging my background in law, military intelligence, and advocacy to champion a cause that could define the future of our society. Propelled by everything I’ve learned and driven by an unyielding commitment to guiding AI towards augmenting human well-being rather than diminishing it, I look forward to meeting with more policymakers and helping to influence the right AI laws that safeguard against different risks posed by AI.

Dr. Park's Detailed Story

In 2022, my academic pursuit took an unforeseen detour. While my Ph.D. research at Harvard had focused on human cognitive science, my attention was suddenly captured by the April 2022 release of DALL-E 2, an AI image model created by OpenAI. I had known for some time about OpenAI’s concerning mission of creating “highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work,” but it wasn’t until I saw the promising art of DALL-E 2 that I actually took the threat of uncontrollably advanced AI seriously. I became convinced of AI's vast potential for capability gain, and the looming challenges this posed for our society.

The realization that AI would rapidly and profoundly reshape our world led me to pivot towards this all-important field of AI cognitive science (and its interplay with human cognitive science, my Ph.D. dissertation topic). The pivot was daunting but felt absolutely necessary for understanding how to help steer AI development in a way that ensures that AI will go well for humans.

In that summer of 2022, I joined a diverse group of researchers at the ML Alignment Theory Seminar (MATS) program dedicated to AI safety research—a mix of idealists and seasoned experts united by a common goal: navigating the unknown waters of how to ensure effective AI safeguards. This research environment turned out to be one of sobering realism—acknowledging that while we had pursued lofty ambitions for human-compatible AI, such AI alignment might be a difficult, even a practically intractable challenge given the potentially very short amount of time we have before AI capabilities advance to a particularly dangerous point.

During this period, Max Tegmark (one of TIME's Top 100 Most Influential People in AI) became a pivotal figure in my journey. Recognizing our mutual concerns about ensuring that AI will go well for humans, Max offered to be my postdoctoral mentor. His immense guidance has helped me probe deeper into not just AI’s technological aspects, but also its societal implications.

  • Women and girls who are victimized by non-consensual deepfake pornography of their likenesses, disseminated throughout the Internet without their consent.
  • A mother who was made to believe her daughter was kidnapped when she heard an AI-generated voice imitation, only barely evading financial coercion.
  • Parents who fear that their children will not be safe from species replacement by a superintelligent AI species, which powerful AI pioneers like Rich Sutton (first-ever advisor of Google DeepMind) are proposing that “we should not resist.”

These unacceptable threats reaffirmed to me the importance of subjecting the AI industry to meaningful democratic oversight, as opposed to toothless self-regulation that has already been shown ineffective at protecting the public.

The discussions I had at MIT, the papers I poured over by lamplight—they all led to one pivotal realization. The intersection of technology and society is complex and fraught with moral challenges that cannot be solved through coding alone. It became clear that as much as we need programmers in the AI industry to build safer AI systems, we also need conversations in town halls, classrooms, and legislative chambers. We have a moral obligation to inform people about how AI technology will affect them personally, and how people can exercise their democratic right to voice their concerns about Big Tech’s unaccountable race to be first-to-market with superintelligent AI.

While some see AI safety purely as a technical challenge to be solved by the AI industry, I came to realize that AI safety is a challenge for society as a whole. Every one of us should be democratically informed and involved. Working under Max Tegmark's mentorship not only expanded my view on what it means to make technology safe, but also on who needs to be involved in those decisions. This isn't just a job for programmers in the AI industry; it requires input from everyone impacted by these changes—which is all of us.

This is why I co-founded StakeOut.AI. Our mission is to unite human voices globally, advocating for new laws that ensure AI development serves humanity, rather than cause unprecedented harm and devastation. By informing as many people as we can on the threats posed by uncontrollable AI, we at StakeOut.AI aim to help bring about meaningful democratic oversight of the AI industry. The ultimate goal is to foster a future where AI benefits all of us broadly, safely, and democratically.

Ready to Make a Positive Impact? Yes, Together We Can Create Change & Demand the Right AI Laws 

United as one, we can ensure AI development is safer for us, for our children, for our children's children, and for humanity as a whole.

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Hannah Styles

COO, CO-FOUNDER

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Hannah Styles

COO, CO-FOUNDER

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Hannah Styles

COO, CO-FOUNDER

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Hannah Styles

COO, CO-FOUNDER

Meet the amazing
people behind
the brand

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John Doe

Company Name

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StakeOut.AI is a nonprofit based in the United States, with registered company number 93-4733126 and pending 501(c)3 charity status.

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