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What we seek to accomplish

Map the contours of intelligence in diverse forms and faculties found in the natural world: their nature, structure, purpose, and evolutionary origins.
Investigate ways to nourish the many dimensions of human intelligence, including such under-explored domains as social, moral, and spiritual intelligence.
Encourage practical and positive engagement with applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

About the Diverse Intelligence initiative

Our universe brims with intelligences. By exploring other minds, we can see ourselves in this dazzling constellation. Questions about intelligence are explored in a broad range of disciplines—neuroscience, philosophy, biology, computer science, anthropology, and many others. But researchers in these fields rarely have opportunities to work together.

Templeton World Charity Foundation’s Diverse Intelligence (DI) initiative seeks to break down disciplinary boundaries and build a new scientific community. DI is a multiyear, global effort to understand a world alive with brilliance in many forms. Its mission is to promote open-minded, forward-looking inquiry in animal, human, and machine intelligences. We collaborate with leading experts and emerging scholars from around the globe, developing high-caliber projects that advance our comprehension of the constellation of intelligences.

The initiative is focused on three challenges:

  1. Beyond the Turing Test: Elucidating the similarities and differences between machine and biological intelligences. Learn More
  2. The Brilliance of the Living World. Learn More
  3. Morality in the Machine Age: Keeping Humans in the Loop. Learn More

Watch this video to learn more about Diverse Intelligences.


The Diverse Intelligences initiative is a global, multidisciplinary exploration of a world alive with brilliance.

Making an Impact

Stories from our grantees

By studying the songs of humpback whales, Laurance Doyle (SETI Institute) aims to uncover the vast wellsprings of communications that exist throughout Planet Earth—and beyond.

Learn more

Featured Projects

Reverse-Engineering the Moral Mind​​

Can approaches from engineering help us understand how moral reasoning works? Joshua Tenenbaum, Max Kleiman-Weiner and Sydney Levine seek to give...

​Brainless Intelligence – Identifying the Basis of Intelligence Using Non-neuronal Organisms

What can organisms without brains teach us about animal intelligence? The word “intelligence” comes from the Latin inter-legere. Legere means “to...

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Interested in learning more? We will send occasional updates about the DI initiative.