These monthly posts originated as the "Updates" section of the EA Newsletter.
80,000 Hours added over 100 new vacancies to their job board.
They also released six pieces of content, including a podcast with U.S. Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins and three sets of anonymous answers to questions on EA career choice:
- Advice on how to read our advice
- Before committing to management consulting, consider directly entering priority paths, policy, startups, and other options
- Podcast: Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins on 8 years of combating WMD terrorism
- Anonymous answers: What’s the thing people most overrate in their career?
- Anonymous answers: if you were 18 again, what would you do differently this time around? And other personal career reflections.
- Anonymous answers: How risk-averse should talented young people be about their careers?
Internally, they worked on their annual review in preparation for December and January fundraising, and conducted a round of performance feedback for all staff.
Animal Charity Evaluators
Animal Charity Evaluators has officially released their 2019 charity recommendations, as well as a post about the process leading to this year’s recommendations. Top Charities include Albert Schweitzer Foundation, Anima International, The Good Food Institute, and The Humane League. ACE also announced the second round of grant recipients from their Effective Animal Advocacy (EAA) Fund.
An anonymous donor is matching donations to ACE's Effective Animal Advocacy Fund through December 31.
Center for Human-Compatible AI
- Rohin Shah (a CHAI PhD student) and Micah Carroll (a CHAI intern), wrote a post on human-AI collaboration on the Berkeley AI Research Blog.
- Rohin Shah and Dmitrii Krasheninnikov (a former CHAI intern) had a paper, "Combining Reward Information from Multiple Sources," accepted by the 2019 NeurIPS Workshop on Safety and Robustness in Decision Making and the Workshop on Learning with Rich Experience.
- Joe Halpern (a CHAI PI and professor of computer science and engineering at Cornell University) has published a series of papers over the past few months ("Approximate Causal Abstraction," "A Conceptually Well-Founded Characterization of Iterated Admissibility Using an 'All I Know' Operator," and "On the Existence of Nash Equilibrium in Games with Resource-Bounded Players").
- Alex Turner (a former Visiting Scholar at CHAI) and Dylan Hadfield-Menell (a CHAI PhD student) had a paper, "Conservative Agency via Attainable Utility Preservation," accepted by the 2020 Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society.
Centre for Effective Altruism
CEA announced their 2020 donor lottery, which allows participants to donate for a chance at winning the right to choose where the entire donation pool is donated. They also opened applications for EA Global: San Francisco 2020, which will take place from 20-22 March.
Videos of talks from EA Global: London 2019 are now available on YouTube.
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
CSER researchers published three new papers:
- “Policy Options to Close the Production Gap” (climate policy)
- “Law and Policy Responses to Disaster-Induced Financial Distress” (disaster response)
- “Human Extinction and Our Obligations to the Past” (population ethics)
CSER's TERRA (The Existential Risk Research Assessment) machine learning system identified 29 recently published x-risk papers (21 are listed here, and eight more here). They hosted public lectures from Zia Mian and Grethe Helene Evjen. Simon Beard was interviewed in Vice and CSER published a report on how governments can better understand global catastrophic risk (GCR)."
Charity Entrepreneurship (CE) announced the first round of applications for their summer program. The CE Incubation Program will be held from 29 June to 28 August 2020 in London, U.K. Last year, the program led to the founding of five new charities, while a previous CE charity recently received a $1,000,000 GiveWell Incubation Grant.
Apply by 15 January if you'd like to improve your chances of being accepted to the program. You can also read CE's post on the topic, which covers additional tips.
- Faunalytics was named a “standout charity” by Animal Charity Evaluators, a designation they have retained since their first review in 2015.
- They published their latest experiment, Increasing Donations Through Appeal Types, Exposure, and Donor Characteristics, which investigated whether messages and donor characteristics can increase donations to farmed and companion animals.
- They also published an EA Forum post, The Individual and The Bathwater, which discusses the importance of pursuing change for farmed animals on an institutional and individual basis.
Future of Humanity Institute
Vojtěch Kovařík (Czech Technical University) and Ryan Carey (FHI) published “(When) Is Truth-telling Favored in AI Debate?” on arXiv. The paper introduces a mathematical framework to model debates between two AI systems, in order to support the problem-solving capabilities of a human judge.
FHI currently sponsors eight DPhil scholars to undertake their studies at the University of Oxford. Applications for the next cohort of FHI DPhil scholarships will open in January-February 2020. Applications for paid internships with the AI Safety team in 2020 are being reviewed on a rolling basis.
- GiveWell published its 2019 top charity recommendations. All new content related to this decision can be found here.
- GiveWell and IDinsight shared new research on moral weights. The linked post analyzes the results of a survey aimed at better understanding how communities (similar to those in which GiveWell's top charities operate) might prioritize different programs and different types of good outcomes.
Global Catastrophic Risk Institute
GCRI published a new paper, “Lessons for Artificial Intelligence from Other Global Risks,” which includes insights from biotechnology, nuclear war, global warming, and asteroid impact avoidance.
Recent blog posts:
- GCRI discusses the results of its 2019 advising and collaboration program.
- GCRI collaborator Jia Yuan Loke talks about his experience working with GCRI through the program
- GCRI looks back at its 2019 accomplishments and lays out its plans for 2020.
Good Food Institute
- GFI-India hosted the Future of Protein Summit in partnership with Humane Society International and the Government of India's Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The two-day event attracted approximately 300 attendees and 60 speakers, including two Members of Parliament, the Israeli ambassador to India, the CEO of the government’s premier policy think tank, and senior leaders from the business and academic sectors.
- GFI's Policy team had an in-person meeting with White House officials in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) who oversee the USDA’s research and development budget. Consistent with our October submission to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, we requested their support for a cross-agency Alternative Protein Initiative with an initial allocation of $20 million for research in fiscal year 2021.
- GFI spread the word about alternative protein careers at top universities across the country. University Innovation Specialist Amy Huang gave nine talks to 400 students at Stanford University and across four University of California campuses; University Innovation Specialist Annie Osborn spoke in a panel session at the Harvard Business School Food and Agriculture Conference; and Foodservice Analyst Zak Weston spoke to more than 100 students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the University of Notre Dame.
Open Philanthropy Project
Open Philanthropy announced grants including $1.8M to the Centre for Effective Altruism and $1.1M to the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare. It also announced a new co-funding partnership with Ben Delo, co-founder of BitMEX, who developed an interest in funding long-termist causes while working with Effective Giving U.K.
The Life You Can Save
- The Life You Can Save’s new website is now live.
- The updated 10th Anniversary Edition of Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save is now available for free (as an eBook or audiobook) on their website.
- The Life You Can Save partnered with Princeton University and One for the World (OFTW) to hold a live-streamed book launch lecture with Professor Singer. Singer was also a guest on the 80,000 Hours Podcast. Other coverage has included an Associated Press interview with Singer and supporter Paul Simon (who is one of the audiobook's celebrity narrators), which has been featured in media including The New York Times.
Raising for Effective Giving
REG collaborated with an Asia tournament operator on a charity event that resulted in £659,000 for high-impact charities: £211,333 each to the Against Malaria Foundation, the Forethought Foundation, and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), as well as £25,000 to REG itself.
On Giving Tuesday, REG helped launch the Double Up Drive, which has made $1.5M available in matching funds for a number of high-impact charities. Donating to the drive gives donors control over which charities receive some of the matching funds, but this may not be a fully counterfactual match; funds that go unmatched could be distributed to some of the same charities.
They also published:
- An evaluation of the likely impact of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- A demographic analysis of the 2019 EA Survey
- Results from the 2019 local EA Group Organizers Survey
- Some considerations on the accuracy of agricultural statistics provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- A review of the welfare of managed honey bees
- A series of posts on next steps for research on invertebrate welfare, possible interventions, and assessing attitudes and possibilities in that space
Add your own update
If your organization isn't represented on this list, you're welcome to provide an update in a comment.
You can also email me if you'd like to be included on the list of organizations I ask for updates each month; I can then add any updates you submit to future posts. (I may not accept all such requests; whether I include an org depends on its size, age, focus, track record, etc.)