These monthly posts originated as the "Updates" section of the EA Newsletter.
80,000 Hours launched a new key ideas page, which replaces their previous career guide.
The key ideas page covers the most useful things they've learned over the last eight years, starting with the big picture and ending with practical next steps. It's now the natural place for people to go first if they want to learn what 80,000 Hours thinks about doing good with your career.
They also posted over 100 new vacancies on their job board and released a podcast on computer security careers, election integrity, and global catastrophic risks with Bruce Schneier.
Animal Charity Evaluators
Animal Charity Evaluators published a post highlighting the most recent updates to their charity evaluation process. This year’s changes include modifying their cost-effectiveness models and adding overall ratings for each charity on each criterion. They also published part two in a series of roundtable posts about the culture of remote organizations.
Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative
BERI is currently seeking an Operations Manager. The job description and application are available on their website.
Center for Human-Compatible AI (UC Berkeley)
Stuart Russell’s new book is now for sale on Amazon and at other retailers. Russell explains why superhuman AI presents a problem for humanity and proposes a path toward solutions. Daniel Kahneman (Nobel Laureate in Economics) calls it "the most important book I have read in quite some time,” and Elon Musk endorsed it on Twitter.
Rachel Freedman (a PhD student researcher) worked with Duke University’s Moral AI team to publish “Adapting a Kidney Exchange Algorithm to Align with Human Values”. The paper presents an end-to-end methodology for identifying and quantifying human value frameworks that affect kidney allocation, incorporating these into the donor-matching algorithm used for the U.S. national kidney exchange, and running simulations to evaluate the impact of this modified algorithm on matching.
CHAI is currently accepting intern applications for the 2020 internship program (start date: May 2020 preferred, other options possible).
Finally, Martin Fukui has been officially chosen as CHAI’s new Assistant Director.
Centre for Effective Altruism
- Updates on its EA Grants and Community Building Grants programs
- An update on its plans for EAGx conferences in 2020
- A collection of feedback they received from senior staffers at EA organizations
- Results from a survey of attendees at the 2019 EA Leaders Forum (covering a wide range of topics)
They also released a set of new features for the EA Forum, including the ability to subscribe by email to users, posts, and comments.
Finally, they announced that Max Dalton has been appointed as CEA's Executive Director.
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
- CSER secured a major five-year grant.
- They also hosted public lectures by Jason Matheny and Zia Mian, held their second horizon-scanning bioengineering workshop, and participated in Effective Altruism Global 2019.
- Asaf Tzachor wrote a guest post for a Council on Foreign Relations blog: “Down the Hunger Spiral: Pathways to the Disintegration of the Global Food System.”
- TERRA, a semi-automated research assessment tool, identified 21 recent papers relevant to global catastrophic risk.
- Lord Martin Rees gave a keynote address at the Global Grand Challenges Summit and an interview to The Globe and Mail, Canada's leading newspaper. He also spoke to Morgan Sheil about the ethics and politics of climate change.
Charity Entrepreneurship has released a series of videos introducing new effective charities incubated in their program: Fish Welfare Initiative, Suvita, Animal Advocacy Careers, Good Policies, and the Happier Lives Institute.
They also posted a video explaining why supporting charity entrepreneurs is a high-impact opportunity, as well as reports on how research is an impactful intervention for animals and ways to evaluate potential asks that animal organizations can make of corporations.
Faunalytics published their new research priorities for 2020, including studies on farmed chickens and fishes, corporate welfare reforms, and cultural barriers in non-Western countries. They also published a capstone of their 12-year longitudinal survey of animal-related attitudes and behavior, and an analysis showing which demographic groups are least likely to support animal causes.
Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research
The Forethought Foundation has just opened applications for the Global Priorities Fellowship, which comes with a £5,000 stipend and a trip to Oxford in the summer of 2020. This philosophy and economics fellowship supports promising PhD and master’s students in contributing to global priorities research, with a particular focus on longtermism.
Future of Life Institute
FLI released an episode of their namesake podcast featuring Anthony Aguirre, as well as an episode of the AI Alignment Podcast featuring Stuart Russell. They are continuing their podcast series on climate change, Not Cool, with new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through the end of November.
In time for giving season, GiveWell explained what its standout charities are and how individuals can help increase GiveWell's impact. GiveWell also described why it recommended a $5.6 million GiveWell Incubation Grant to Results for Development to support the organization's pneumonia treatment program in Tanzania.
Global Catastrophic Risk Institute
GCRI is hosting a session on global catastrophic risk at the 2019 Society for Risk Analysis meeting in Arlington, VA. GCRI Director of Research Tony Barrett will chair the session, which will feature talks by Gary Ackerman, Paul Slovic, Arden Rowell, and GCRI's Seth Baum and Jared Brown.
Global Priorities Institute
The Global Priorities Institute has just opened applications for next year’s Early Career Conference Programme (ECCP). The programme takes place in Oxford from 6 June to 4 July 2020 and allows philosophy and economics graduate students to come to GPI to work on a research project and take part in the conference. Applications close on 10 January 2020.
The Good Food Institute
GFI published a post on the ways that plant-based meat is transforming the food industry from the inside. Science Blog released an interview with GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht: Is The Future Alternative Meats? (For more, see GFI’s full monthly report for October.)
Open Philanthropy Project
The Open Philanthropy Project announced grants including $19.5M to the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and $2.2M to Compassion in World Farming. They also published a blog post looking at the feasibility of long-range forecasting.
Ought published an update summarizing its research progress. Over the past 10 months, 60+ participants have been working for 150+ total hours/week on factored evaluation experiments. In the update, Ought describes the structure of its experiments and shares what it has learned about the importance of developing decompositions in-house, work ensembling, and controlling branching in decomposition trees. The update also describes Ought’s work on gauging language models’ ability to automate similar work.
Rethink Charity recently closed the window for EA Survey 2019 submissions. Within the next few weeks, they plan to begin publishing a series of posts with analysis and commentary on the results. Rethink Priorities recently published an analysis of the impacts of cat predation on animal welfare, explored the value of deliberative democracy reforms, and, as part of their series on invertebrates, published some opinions on estimating the probability of invertebrate sentience.
Add your own update
If your organization isn't represented in 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.)