I recently completed the AGI Safety Fundamentals course (on AI alignment) and really enjoyed it.
I imagine lots of people on the forum have taken the course and now would be a good time to share reflections. I’m hoping this thread might be particularly useful for people considering taking it in future.
I’d be interested to hear many different kinds of reflections, but here are some prompts:
- What do you think you’ve learnt? How has it impacted your plans, if it has?
- Did you think it was worth the time?
- Who would you recommend it to?
- Do you wish you had done something differently, or known something in advance? (Any other advice?)
I’ll leave my own reflections in the comments.
I feel like I have a much better sense of what the current approaches to alignment are, what people are working on and how underdeveloped the field is. In general, it’s been a while since I’ve spent time studying anything so it felt fun just to dedicate time to learning. It also felt empowering to take a field that I’ve heard a lot about at a high level and make it clearer in my mind.
I think doing the Week 0 readings are an easy win for anyone who wants to demystify some of what is going on in ML systems, which I think should be interesting to anyone, even if you’re not interested in alignment.
I became much more motivated to work on making AI go well over the period of the course, I think mainly because it made the problem more concrete but likely just spending more time thinking about it. That said, it’s hard to disentangle this increased motivation from recent events and other factors.
Thank you for making this thread Clifford, and we're really grateful for all feedback! We're working hard as a team to improve the course and the infrastructure we have for hosting other courses, and everyone's feedback has been incredibly valuable on our journey thus far :)
For anyone who is considering the course: TYPE III AUDIO is making audio narrations for the Alignment and Governance courses. The series is due to launch later this month, but some 50+ episodes are already available.
I'm quite glad I took the course!
I was using Claude for dumb reasons — I don't have a strong sense for how it compares to GPT-4 on this.
I definitely feel it was worth the time for me personally. It was great for learning about the field of AI alignment (problems and proposed solutions). I was hoping the course would spend more time on arguments for and against AI being an x-risk, but unfortunately there was little of that, so it didn't change my mind much.
I think the value I got from the course is that my interactions with AI content are richer. It’s like trying to understand an ecosystem after getting a better prescription for my glasses.