Forecasts about EA organisations which are currently on Metaculus.

by alexrjl2 min read29th Dec 20204 comments


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Metaculus is a community forecasting platform which popular among members of the EA and Rationalist communities. Many of the forecasts on the site are directly relevant to EAs, including the entirety of the pandemic subdomain, this series on global catastrophic risk, this recent tournament on AI progress, this large Animal Welfare series sponsored by Open Phil, and many others.

In addition, there has been some recent effort to use Metaculus as a platform to help EA-aligned organisations directly, by forecasting their success and/or decision making. It is my hope that this will become more common, because I think better forecasts should allow organisations to make better decisions about their future plans. Moreover, I think forecasting on important issues is a plausible candidate for Task Y, as it's interesting, scaleable, builds useful skills, and actually has tangible value.

As a result, I have collected forecasts about EA or EA-aligned organisations below, both because the forecasts themselves may be of interest to the EA community, but also because I think that more EAs making forecasts and posting reasoning on these questions would improve the forecasts themselves. Users are able to post comments to Metaculus without making a forecast, and it would be valuable for EAs to post information and/or reasoning as comments even if they were not yet well-calibrated forecasters. To see the current median prediction for any of the questions below, just mouse-over the link. 

If you'd like to contribute to making forecasts themselves but aren't sure where to start, there's some good advice and links in the Metaculus resources page, Philip Tetlock's 80,000 hours podcast interview contains some good discussion (and was my starting point), and I'm currently creating an introductory video series, the first few episodes of which can be found here. The best way to keep up with news on forecasting is probably Nuño Sempere's excellent monthly newsletter

Thanks go to Nuño for his thoughts on this piece.

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4 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 1:46 AM
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If you work for an EA-aligned organisation and would like some help developing questions like the above, for example in order to inform the plans/goals of the organisation, or to compare to internal forecasts, please get in touch with me!

Not quite at the point where I think additional work is helpful (eg the question operationalization stage), but want to flag that I and others at Rethink are actively excited about incorporating more forecasting in our workflow, and it's plausible that the format here (public Metaculus questions about organization metrics) would be relevant for us! 

This is missing the Giving What We Can one:

Thanks! I've now added it