QRI and the Symmetry Theory of Valence

by Milan_Griffes, andzuck1 min read19th Dec 20203 comments


Qualia Research InstituteValence

Crossposted from here: https://enthea.net/qualia-research-institute-and-the-symmetry-theory-of-valence.html


Why is deeply understanding valence so important? 

The most direct reason is that a mechanistic understanding of valence will allow us to quantify experience. Today, we don’t have much basis for objectively understanding what other people or animals are experiencing – a “9 out of 10” on my pain scale may be a “4 out of 10” on yours. QRI's Symmetry Theory of Valence attempts to bridge that gap.

More fully understanding valence would also:

  1. Help us find first-principles solutions to hard-to-treat mental health & chronic pain conditions.
  2. Allow us to build better neurotechnology by crisply articulating the brain states we would like to target.
  3. Create more rigorous measures of philanthropic & economic utility and upgrade imperfect measures of well-being such as the QALY (Quality-Adjusted Life Year), which could drastically improve economic policymaking and the efficiency of our resource allocation.
  4. Help us more accurately measure the quality of life of animals and non-linguistic humans.
  5. Improve social coordination by helping people operate from the same basic understanding of what is real and what is valuable.
  6. In the field of AI alignment – make progress on the value-loading problem (what values we should instill into an artificial general intelligence), and avoid accidentally creating immense suffering in future superintelligences (i.e. “mind crimes”).

You can learn about other implications of the Symmetry Theory of Valence (STV) by watching the full talk at Imperial College London and by reading the annotated slides.

QRI begins executing on its roadmap to empirically test STV in 2021. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re excited to chat with anyone who has questions about our approach!

2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:17 AM
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For some reason, only the last part of the post was included here. The original post is much longer.

Yes, I only included the part that I thought would be most interesting to forum readers.