CEEALAR Fundraiser 9: Concrete outputs after 29 months

by CEEALAR5 min read27th Nov 20202 comments


Funding RequestOrg UpdateCentre for Enabling EA Learning & Research

We have compiled a list of concrete outputs that CEEALAR residents have produced during their stays.

As before, we note that interpreting this list comes with some caveats:

  • While the output per dollar is high, this might not be the best metric. A better metric might be marginal output divided by marginal output for a counterfactual donation, but this is hard to estimate. Useful proxies might be output per person-day, and signals of future career potential.
  • This list doesn't cover everything of value that has been supported by CEEALAR. Some residents have spent months working on things they haven't published yet. Some have spent time doing self-therapy, reading books and articles, or having a lot of research conversations. Some have been developing presentations and workshops, or ideas for new charities. To increase transparency, guests are encouraged to share informal progress updates (presented in embedded Google Docs on our website), to give outsiders an idea of what they are doing with their time. There is also the benefit of CEEALAR acting as an EA community hub and a focal point for networking.
  • Outputs are presented along with their counterfactual likelihood of happening without CEEALAR. This gives an idea of the value CEEALAR is adding, especially considering most residents would have been doing less in the way of EA-focused work without CEEALAR.

An up-to-date, live version of the list of outputs can be found at ceealar.org/outputs.

Total expenses as of October 2020

Money: So far ~£170,200 has been spent on hosting our residents, of which ~£24,200 was contributed by residents.

Time: ~11,800 person-days spent at CEEALAR.

Summary of concrete outputs, since CEEALAR’s inception in May 2018 

  • The incubation of 3 EA projects with potential for scaling (including CEEALAR);
  • 23 online course modules followed;
  • 2.5 online course modules produced;
  • 102 posts on the EA Forum, Less Wrong and the AI Alignment Forum (with a total of ~2500 karma);
  • 5 papers published, 2 preprints, 1 submission and 1 revision;
  • 23 other pieces of writing, including blogs, reports and talks;
  • 5 code repositories contributed to;
  • 5 AI Safety / X-risk events, 1 rationality workshop and 2 EA retreats organised and hosted; 2 EA retreats organised;
  • 3 internships and 5 jobs earned at EA organisations; 2 PhD places earned.

For the full list see the dedicated CEEALAR page here.

New outputs as of October 2020

Here we present new outputs since our last summary; those from November 2019 - October 2020. (Note there are some outputs that are on our outputs page but are not included in any of our summaries as they are backdated).

Expenses for this period:

Money: ~£59,800 has been spent on hosting our residents, of which ~£6,100 was contributed by residents.

Time: ~4,100 person-days spent at CEEALAR (note that this is an average of ~11 people at CEEALAR over this period, as opposed to ~17 for the last update, down to a reduction in numbers resultant from the pandemic).

Outputs Key

Title with link [C] (K)
C = counterfactual likelihood of happening without CEEALAR.
K = Karma on EA Forum, Less Wrong, (Less Wrong; Alignment Forum).

Michele Campolo:

Linda Linsefors:

Organized the AI Safety Technical Unconference (October 2019)


Samuel Knoche:

NLP implementations [5%]

Luminita Bogatean:

David Kristoffersson:

Justin Shovelain:

  • Published or provided the primarily ideas for and directed the publishing of 19 EA/LW forum posts (see our publications document for more details: Convergence publications) [80%] (~30 average)

Michael Aird:

(First two with coauthors; first and third mostly written before arriving at CEEALAR.)

Aron Mill:

Samuel Knoche:

Denisa Pop:

Kris Gulati:

  • Distinctions in MST125 (Mathematics modules) and M140 (Statistics), The Open University.
  • Completed GV100 (Intro to Political Theory) and MA100 (Mathematical Methods), London School of Economics, [auditing modules].
  • Audited M208 (Pure Maths) Linear Algebra and Real Analysis, The Open University.
  • Applied to a number of PhD programmes in Economics, and took up a place at Glasgow University

Derek Foster:

Rhys Southan:

Applied to a number of PhD programs in Philosophy and took up a place at Oxford University (Researching “Personal Identity, Value, and Ethics for Animals and AIs”). [40%]

Accepted to give a talk and a poster to the academic session of EAG 2020 in San Francisco.

Published an essay, Re-Orientation, about some of the possible personal and societal implications of sexual orientation conversion drugs that actually work. [90%]

Events made possible by CEEALAR

 AI Strategy and X-Risk Unconference (AIXSU)

Testimonials from Grantees

Linda Linsefors:

“I think the biggest impact EA Hotel [CEEALAR] did for me, was about self growth. I got a lot of help to improve, but also the time and freedom to explore. I tried some projects that did not lead anywhere, like Code to Give. But getting to explore was necessary for me to figure out what to do. I finally landed on organising, which I’m still doing. AI Safety Support probably would not have existed with out the hotel.”

Kris Gulati:

“The time at the Hotel [CEEALAR] was incredibly valuable to me. Counterfactually – if I wasn’t at the Hotel – I would have probably only been able to complete half of the Maths/Stats I learned. I probably wouldn’t have applied to any of the scholarships/grants/fellowships because I heard about them via residents at the Hotel. I also probably wouldn’t have had time to focus on completing my older research papers. Similarly, discussions with other residents spurred the new research ideas I’m working on.”

Our Ask

Do you like this initiative, and want to see it continue for longer, on a more stable footing? Do you want to cheaply buy time spent working full-time on work relating to EA, whilst facilitating a thriving EA community hub? Do you want to see more work in the same vein as the above? Then we would like to ask for your support.

We are hoping to build up our reserves to 12 months of runway. Our estimated shortfall is ~£5k/month from June onward (assuming numbers pick up with a decline in the pandemic by then). See our fundraiser page for more details.

As a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1189768), donations to us are tax deductible as of 6th December 2019.

To donate, please or use our PayPal Giving Fund page , Facebook fundraiser or GoFundMe

If you’d like to give regular support, we are on Ko-Fi.

Contact us to donate directly via bank transfer and save in currency conversion losses (The preceding options have 0% fees and ~2% currency conversion losses. Revolut and Transferwise are good options with 0-1% losses in fees and currency exchange. Convert to GBP before sending.)

Previous posts in this series:

Written by others:

*this is the total cost of the project to date, not including the purchase of the building (£132,276.95 including building survey and conveyancing)


2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 5:27 AM
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Minor typo - The DOI for Evaluating use cases for human challenge trials in accelerating SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development. Clinical Infectious Diseases  has a trailing e in the url which causes the link to fail

Thanks, fixed!