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.
- When will the first course on wild animal welfare be taught at a top university?
- Will ACE or any of its top or standout charities see a scandal related to sexual harassment or unwanted sexual advances in 2021?
- Will a charity primarily operating in China become an ACE Top Charity in 2021 or 2022?
Will any of the nonprofits incubated by Charity Entrepreneurship become a future ACE top or standout charity by Jan 1, 2025?
- Will any of the nonprofits incubated by Charity Entrepreneurship become a future ACE top or standout charity by Jan 1, 2022?
- Will ACE or any of its top or standout charities see a scandal related to racial inequity or discrimination in 2021?
- Will Restaurant Brands International cease sourcing pork in North America from suppliers that use gestation stalls by Jan 1, 2022?
- How much money will be donated to ACE in 2021?
- How much money will ACE estimate to have influenced in 2021?
- Will one of GiveWell's 2019 top charities be estimated as the most cost-effective charity in 2031?
- How much will GiveWell guess it will cost to get an outcome as good as saving a life, at the end of 2031?
- How much will GiveWell guess it will cost to get an outcome as good as saving a life, at the end of 2021?
- Who will win the 'worm wars'?
- When will Charity Entrepreneurship help create a new Givewell top charity?
Giving What We Can
High Impact Athletes
- How much money will have been donated by HIA athletes by the end of 2021?
- What fraction of athletes who take the HIA pledge before the end of 2021 will maintain it through the end of 2024?
- How many athletes with HIA pledges will there be at the end of 2021?
- When will the Open Philanthropy Project have donated a total of $7 billion of Good Ventures' money, inflation-adjusted to 2020 dollars?
- In the year 2031, will at least 90% of Open Philanthropy Project grants, on a dollar-weighted basis, be directed according to EA principles?
Stripe - Carbon Offsets
- What will be the cost of carbon storage sold by Charm Industrial in 2030?
- What will be the cost of carbon storage sold by CarbonCure in 2030?
- What will be the cost of negative emissions sold by Climeworks in 2030?
- What will be the cost of negative emissions sold by Project Vesta in 2030?
- Will Charm Industrial still exist in 2030?
- Will CarbonCure still exist in 2030?
- Will Climeworks still exist in 2030?
- Will Project Vesta still exist in 2030?
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