A lot of longtermist effort is going into AI safety at the moment. I think it's hard to make the case that something in AI safety has legibly or concretely reduced AI risk, since (a) the field is still considered quite pre-paradigmatic, (b) the risk comes from systems that are more powerful than the ones we currently have, and (c) even in less speculative fields, research often takes several years before it is shown to legibly help anyone.
But with those caveats in mind, I think:
- The community has made some progress in understanding possible risks and threats from advanced AI system. (See DeepMind's review of alignment threat models).
- Interpretability research seems relatively legible. The basic case "we're building powerful models and it would be valuable to understand how they work" makes intuitive sense. There are also several more nuanced ways interpretability research could be helpful (see Neel's longlist of theories for impact).
- The fact that most of the major AGI labs have technical safety teams and governance teams seems quite concrete/legible. I'm not sure how much credit should go to the longtermist communities, but I think several of these teams have been inspired/influenced by ideas in the AI safety community. (To be fair, this might just be a case of "get lots of people to think seriously about reducing x-risk", but I think it's a bit more tangible/concrete.)
- In AI governance, the structured access approach seems pretty common among major AGI labs (again, a bit unclear how much credit should go to longtermists but my guess is a non-negligble amount).
- In AI governance, some work on reducing misuse risks and recognizing the dual-use nature of AI technologies seems somewhat legible. A lot of people who did this research are now working at major AGI labs, and it seems plausible that they're implementing some of the best practices they suggested (which would be especially legible, though I'm not aware of any specific examples, though this might be because labs keep a lot of this stuff confidential).