Open Thread #45

by Aaron Gertler1 min read3rd May 20198 comments

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Use this thread to post things that are awesome, but not awesome enough to be full posts. Consider giving your comment a brief title to improve readability.

(Here's the last Open Thread, for reference.)

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Hi, I'm thinking about a possibly new approach to AI safety. Call it AI monitoring and safe shutdown.

Safe shutdown, riffs on the idea of the big red button, but adapts it for use in simpler systems. If there was a big red button, who gets to press it and how? This involves talking to law enforcement, legal and policy. Big red buttons might be useful for non learning systems, large autonomous drones and self-driving cars are two system that might suffer from software failings and need to be shutdown safely if possible (or precipitously if the risks from hard shutdown are less than it's continued operation).

The monitoring side of thing asks what kind of registration and monitoring we should have for AIs and autonomous systems. Building on work on aircraft monitoring, what would the needs around autonomous system be?

Is this a neglected/valuable cause area? If so, I'm at an early stage and could use other people to help out.

A person close to me is intending to donate a bunch of money to atmosfair, which is a german environmental charity. I pointed out that this might be suboptimal and so she instructed me to find out what a better option would be.

Is there anything like a consensus on what the most effective environmental charities are that someone can briefly point to? Alternatively, feel free to just give me your own opinion.

The goal as I understand it is pretty much just to reduce CO2 emissions. (The charity does this thing where you donate a particular amount to offset the CO2 that got into the atmosphere because of a flight you've taken.)

Recent EA thinking on this is probably mostly:

Both are claiming to have done a lot of research, but I don't think either Founders' Pledge or Let's Fund have a GiveWell-like track record and I'm slightly nervous that we're repeating the mistake we (as a community) made when we recommended Cool Earth based on Giving What We Can's relatively cursory investigation into it, and then an only somewhat less cursory investigation suggested it wasn't much use.

I've read both of the reports Ben listed and think their recommendations have both strengths and weaknesses. I'm currently very uncertain about the best options for donating toward reducing CO2.

Your friend's chosen charity seems to do sensible things to reduce CO2 in a transparent way on a reasonable small budget. Seeing as our community is still very uncertain about what's 'optimal' in this space, I wouldn't push EA recommendations too hard.

Non EA Parody Video I made

I made a Brexit parody of Remix to Ignition. You folks are a community I'm part of and I think sharing what your are proud of (or what is uniquely you), is a great part of community life.

https://youtu.be/F3C0jy_DmJo

(As an aside I'd like to do some EA rap if I could think of a good idea of how to do it. Alternatively if you want rap marketing of an EA organisation or rap at an event then we can talk)

Someone else asked a similar question about using musical talent for EA purposes in this post. The "Musicians in Effective Altruism" Facebook group isn't active, but it does exist -- maybe some collaboration could eventually rise from there?

https://www.facebook.com/morgan.curtis/posts/10157354103556870?comment_id=10157361222336870&notif_id=1564064158553923&notif_t=comment_mention Person who is a "Giving Coach" who helps wealthy people give away their wealth to ethical causes. Was requested it be shared here. Moderately interesting.

Article I wrote about the recent Tory Leadership debates:

https://medium.com/nathan-young/if-i-were-a-tory-c8652ef0d140