Say someone already spent 10-20 hours acquiring basic EA knowledge. Maybe they read Doing Good Better and the 80000 Hours career guide, maybe listened to a few 80,000 Hours podcasts. Is learning more about EA (eg, reading this forum) helpful to them?
Here are some guesses for various roles I brainstormed:
- Safety engineer at OpenAI/DeepMind. You should probably know a few high-level things about AI Safety (maybe some about longtermism as a whole), but beyond that, ML, software engineering, and general productivity skills seem to matter much more.
- Earning to Give. Unless someone really likes and is really good at thinking through and applying these concepts, there doesn't seem to be much value in learning more about EA, since donating to the EA Funds of your chosen cause area (maybe the donor lottery) is probably higher expected value than trying to pick out donation opportunities yourself.
- EA Career coach. Having broad knowledge of EA seems valuable.
- Animal rights activist. You should probably have some broad knowledge of expected value and what interventions work in the effective animal activism literature, but presumably most of your learning time is better spent networking/learning from other activists.
- Developmental econ researcher. Maybe EA can help you prioritize research questions, but mostly I just don't see the added value of learning about EA relative to normal dev econ tools?
- Cause prioritization researcher. Having broad and deep knowledge of EA seems very valuable.
- Community builder. Probably a good idea to have a broad knowledge of both community building models and for individual cause areas (so you can help advise members).
- American Politics/Policy practitioner. Doesn't seem like EA at the moment adds much beyond normal skills in the policy toolkit. Might be helpful to network with EAs so things in the grapevine can eventually reach you however.
- AI Policy researcher. EA tools seem valuable (low confidence).
- Grantmaker in EA-heavy field. Having broad and deep knowledge of EA seems very valuable.
- Journalist. Having a broad knowledge of EA seems valuable.
Naively, it looks like most roles that individual EAs could be in does not, at this moment, benefit from substantial EA knowledge. So for most of us, the main benefit of learning more about EA is something more nebulous like entertainment, "unknown unknowns", or "feeling more connected to the community." Am I missing something major?