I'm surprised that once again it starts as "let's work on safety together! Let's share ideas and work on a good thing", then some entity grows bigger and bigger, starts taking unilateral decisions that are controversial, still using the name and support of community
I feel the same scheme as with SBF: first, the community is used to build The Thing. Then, The Thing forgets about anything ethical or safe and just turns into an "effective profit/PR maxmizer". I feel kinda conned and used. Even when I'm mostly talking to AI ethicists now, I still regarded Anthropic as something not evil. Even I was shocked.
I ask people to demand answers from them. I feel there's a no-confidence case for us trusting Anthropic to do what they are doing well.
I was more about "let's have safety and ethics people together" (which ethicists didn't like), less and less in time. Now I don't know anymore. I want answers.
I feel traumatized in general by the safety community and EA. I was doing research internships at Google and CHAI Berkeley. I was doing later an ethics nonprofit. All of those were somewhat EA-aligned (not 100% outside). I don't know how can I trust people who say "safety" anymore.
What is going on?
See my thread for more questions. I feel traumatized by EA, by this duplicity (that I have seen "rising up" before this, see my other threads). I'm searching for a job and I'm scared of people. Because this is not the first time, not at all. Somehow tech people are "number one" at this. And EA/tech people seem to be "number 0", even better at Machiavellianism and duplicity than Peter Thiel or Musk. At least, Musk openly says he's "red-pilled" and talks to Putin. What EA/safety is doing is kinda similar but hidden under the veil of "safety".
Not all people are like this. Let's not be like this.
I expect downvotes - I don't care. I want answers.
I think for starters Anthropic should publish the list of its board members, its bylaws and cap table. I'm not aware of any of that currently being public info. (Since Anthropic is a public-benefit corporation, presumably the CEO can choose to publish that info even if doing so is not aligned with the financial interests of the shareholders.)
I don't know if demanding answers makes sense, but I do think it's a pretty hard call whether Anthropic is net positive or net negative for AI safety; I'm surprised at the degree to which some people seem to think this question is obvious; I'm annoyed at the EA memeplex for not making this uncertainty more transparent to newcomers/outsiders; I hope not too many people join Anthropic for bad reasons.
I mean in at least in global health and animal welfare, most of the time we don't evaluate charities for being net-negative, we only look at "other people's charities" that are already above a certain bar. I would be opposed to spending considerable resources looking at net negative charities in normal domains, most of your time is much better spent trying to triage resources to send to great projects and away from mediocre ones.
In longtermism or x-risk or meta, everything is really confusing so looking at net-positive vs net-negative becomes more compelling.
For what it's worth, it's very common at LTFF and other grantmakers to consider whether grants are net negative.
Also to be clear, you don't consider OpenAI to be EA-adjacent right? Because I feel like there are many discussions about OpenAI's sign over the years.
My crux here is whether or not I think Anthropic has joined the arms race.
Why do you believe that it has?
Effective altruism's meta-strategy is about friendliness to (tech) power. All our funding comes from tech billionaires. We recruit at elite colleges. We strongly prioritize good relations with AI labs and the associated big tech companies. EA just isn't going to be genuinely critical or antagonistic toward the powerful groups we depend on for support and status. Not how EA works.
I still don't really understand how you can do safety & alignment research on something that doesn't exist and maybe never will but I guess maybe I'm just too low-IQ to understand this Big Brain logic. Also I don't understand how everyone is freaked out about a chatbot that can't even reliably tell you basic biographical information about famous figures, for all that it can draft a very nice email and apparently write good code? idk
The most recent Scott Alexander Post seems potentially relevant to this discussion.
The following long section is about what OpenAI could be thinking – and might also translate to Anthropic. (The rest of the post is also worth checking out.)... (read more)