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I'm interested in what day-to-day activities research on different questions and in different areas involves. I imagine it differs quite a bit, e.g. some researchers spend most of their time reading mathsy papers, while others never do this. I'm specifically interested in AI Governance but the question could apply to any field. I'm mostly asking this question because I want to figure out what kinds of research/questions I would enjoy most.


As an example, here's how I spent my time on a specific stage of a specific research project:

10% on Conceptual frameworks and crispness

20% on being confused, reshaping the question often

30% on Talking to people + prep

10% on trying to find the relevant readings, in the literature and otherwise

0% on Understanding technical papers


So, what's the best way to get a sense of the day-to-day activities of different researchers/research directions? Ideally, this would be more efficient than doing many interviews to ask people directly.




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I guess it depends on which area of AI Governance you research in. I'm almost entirely front-end, so a lot of my research is talking to people it will impact and trialling how different governance mechanisms might actually work in practice.

I guess spitballing it would be:

30% reading draft or upcoming governance changes

50% discussing with end users or using my own experience to highlight issues or required changes

20% writing those responses up for either the legislators or the organisations impacted

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