[On https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615181/ai-openai-moonshot-elon-musk-sam-altman-greg-brockman-messy-secretive-reality/ ]
The 2020 annual letter of Bill and Melinda Gates is titled "Why we swing for the fences" and it seems to spotlight an approach that resembles OpenPhil's hits-based giving approach.
From the 2020 annual letter:
At its best, philanthropy takes risks that governments can’t and corporations won’t. Governments need to focus most of their resources on scaling proven solutions.[...]As always, Warren Buffett—a dear friend and longtime source of great advice—put it a little more colorfully. When he donated the bulk of his fortune to our foundation and joined us as
At its best, philanthropy takes risks that governments can’t and corporations won’t. Governments need to focus most of their resources on scaling proven solutions.
As always, Warren Buffett—a dear friend and longtime source of great advice—put it a little more colorfully. When he donated the bulk of his fortune to our foundation and joined us as
The three subscales of the Light Triad Scale are conceptualized as follows:
Faith in Humanityㅡor the belief that, generally speaking, humans are good.
Sample item: I think people are mostly good.
Humanismㅡor the belief that humans across all backgrounds are deserving of respect and appreciation.
Sample Item: I enjoy listening to people from all walks of life.
Kantianismㅡor the belief that others should be treated as ends in and of themselves, and not as pawns in one’s own game.
Sample item: When I talk to people, I am rarely thinking ... (read more)
Estimates of the mortality of Covid19 https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-2019-nCoV-severity-10-02-2020.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjv89nz3drnAhUOWxUIHf79CuUQFjAAegQIBhAC&usg=AOvVaw1JKl5ksIPgOf43c2F5_olD&cshid=1582016318282
This is the first serious attempt I've seen at estimating deaths from climate change.
That's a really good question! Maybe there just genuinely is too much uncertainty for any estimates, in their views.
I'd honestly even be interested in deaths currently attributable to climate change, but I'm sure even that is a hard problem.
[Is longtermism bottlenecked by "great people"?]
Someone very influential in EA recently claimed in conversation with me that there are many tasks X such that (i) we currently don't have anyone in the EA community who can do X, (ii) the bottleneck for this isn't credentials or experience or knowledge but person-internal talent, and (iii) it would be very valuable (specifically from a longtermist point of view) if we could do X. And that therefore what we most need in EA are more "great people".
I find this extremely dubious. (In... (read more)
A social constructivist perspective on long-term AI policy
I think the case for addressing the long-term consequences of AI systems holds even if AGI is unlikely to arise.
The future of AI development will be shaped by social, economic and political factors, and I'm not convinced that AGI will be desirable in the future or that AI is necessarily progressing toward AGI. However, (1) AI already has large positive and negative effects on society, and (2) I think it's very likely that society's AI capabilities will improve over time, amplifying these effects and creating new benefits and risks in the future.
Does anyone know or have a serious opinion / analysis on the European campaign to tax meat? I read some news at Le Monde, but nothing EA-level seriousness. I mean, it seems a pretty good idea, but I saw no data on possible impact, probability of adoption, possible ways to contribute, or even possible side-effects?
(not the best comparison, but worth noting: in Brazil a surge in meat prices caused an inflation peak in december and corroded the governement's support - yeah, people can tolerate politicians meddling with criminals and fascism, as long as they can have barbecue)
Please vote for Malaria Consortium.https://amp.reddit.com/r/TabForACause/comments/ewsx5p/2020_tab_for_a_cause_charity_spotlight_nomination/Tab for a Cause is a browser extension that donates hearts to charity for every new tab opened while you surf the internet. It's totally free and legitimate.In 2019, Tab for a Cause raised over $185,000 for nonprofits around the world, and over $50,000 of that was given to the 9 different charities chosen by Tabbers during our monthly Charity Spotlights.They are holding a vote on reddit to see what charities will b... (read more)
Here you go this is the reddit thread where you can vote.
Tab 4 a cause is legitimate. You can read all about how it works here:
And you can install the extension on your browser here: https://tab.gladly.io
MIT has a new master's program on Development Economics. https://micromasters.mit.edu/dedp/
It is taught by Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, the recent Nobel Laureates. Seems cool :)
Here's a review of several courses from the program. I'm currently studying the third course out of five, and then I want to apply for on-campus accelerated Master's at MIT. I'll be happy to answer questions about the program if you have them.
We've been experiencing intermittent outages recently. Multiple possible causes and fixes have not turned out to fix it, so we're still working on it. If you see an error saying:"503 Service Unavailable: No healthy endpoints to handle the request. [...]"Try refreshing, or waiting 30 seconds and then refreshing; they're very transient errors.Our apologies for the disruption.
It appears we've fixed this.
I think improving bus systems in the United States (and probably other countries) could be a plausible Cause X.
Importance: Improving bus service would:
Neglectedness: City buses probably don't get much attention because most people don't think very highly of them, and focus much more on novel transportation technologies like electric vehicles.
Tractability: According to Higashide, ... (read more)
I don't have statistics, but my best guess is that if you sample random points across all public buses running in America, in over 3/4 of the time, less than half of the seats are filled.
This is extremely unlike my experiences in Asia (in China or Singapore).
Brief note on usernames:
Epistemic status: Kidding around, but also serious
If you want to create an account without using your name, I recommend choosing a distinctive username that people can easily refer to, rather than some variant on "anonymous_user".
Among usernames with 50+ karma on the Forum, we have:
I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one comment back-and-forth between two accounts with this kind of name. It's a bit much :-P
You could write that the username is deliberately anonymous in your Forum bio.
Another brief note on usernames:
Epistemic status: Moderately confident that this is mildly valuable
It's totally fine to use a pseudonym on the Forum.
However, if you chose a pseudonym for a reason other than "I actively want to not be identifiable" (e.g. "I copied over my Reddit username without giving it too much thought"), I recommend using your real name on the Forum.
If you want to change your name, just PM or email me (email@example.com) with your current username and the one you'd like to use.
Reasons to do this:
Does anyone know people working on reforming the academic publishing process?
Coronavirus has caused journalists to look for scientific sources. There are no journal articles because of the lag time. So they have gone to preprint servers like bioRxiv (pronounced bio-archive). These servers are not peer reviewed so some articles are of low quality. So people have gone to twitter asking for experts to review the papers.
This is effectively a new academic publishing paradigm. If there were support fo... (read more)
HaukeHillebrandt has recommended supporting Prof Chris Chambers to do this: https://lets-fund.org/better-science/
cross-posted from Facebook.
Reading Bryan Caplan and Zach Weinersmith's new book has made me somewhat more skeptical about Open Borders (from a high prior belief in its value).
Before reading the book, I was already aware of the core arguments (eg, Michael Huemer's right to immigrate, basic cosmopolitanism, some vague economic stuff about doubling GDP).
I was hoping the book will have more arguments, or stronger versions of the arguments I'm familiar with.
It mostly did not.
The book did convince me that the prima facie case for open borders was ... (read more)
That was not my intent, and it was not the way I parsed Caplan's argument.
Joan Gass (2019) recommends four areas of international development to focus on:
Improving state capabilities, or governments' ability to render public services, seems especially promising for public-interest technologists interested in development (ICT4D). For example, the Zenysis platform helps developing-world governments make d... (read more)
Shouldn't we have more EA editors in Philpapers categories?
Philpapers is this huge index/community of academic philosophers and texts. It's a good place to start researching a topic. Part of the work is done by voluntary editors and assistants, who assume the responsibility of categorizing and including relevant bibliography; in exchange, they are constantly in touch with the corresponding subject. Some EAs are responsible for their corresponding fields; however, I noticed that some relevant EA-related categories currently have no editor (e.g.: Impact of Artificial Intelligence). I wonder: wouldn't it be useful if EAs assumed these positions?
Too bad I don't have a Facebook account anymore... I'd appreciate if someone else (whou found it useful, of course) could raise this subject in those groups.
(man, do I miss the memes!)
Or I could just post it as a Question in this forum, to get more visibility.
Karma of EA Survey Series as of today:
29 EA Survey 2019 Series: Geographic Distribution of EAs43 EA Survey 2019 Series: Careers and Skills74 EA Survey 2019 Series: Cause Prioritization64 EA Survey 2019 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics38 EA Survey 2018 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics15 EA Survey 2018 Series: Distribution & Analysis Methodology50 EA Survey 2018 Series: How do people get involved in EA?30 EA Survey 2018 Series: Subscribers and Identifiers82 EA Survey 2018 Series: Donation Data68 EA Survey 2018 Seri... (read more)
We're probably surveilling poor and vulnerable people in developing and developed countries too much in the name of aiding them, and we should give stronger consideration to the privacy rights of aid recipients. Personal data about these people collected for benign purposes can be weaponized against them by malicious actors, and surveillance itself can deter people from accessing vital services.
"Stop Surveillance Humanitarianism" by Mark Latonero
Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks makes a similar argument regarding aid recipients in developed countries.
Shafi Goldwasser at Berkeley is currently working on some definitions of privacy and their applicability for law. See this paper or this talk. In a talk she gave last month she talked about how to formalize some aspects of law related to cryptographic concepts to formalize "the right to be forgotten". The recording is not up yet, but in the meantime I paste below my (dirty/partial) notes from the talk. I feel somewhat silly for not realizing the possible connection there earlier, so thanks for the opportunity to discover connections hidden in pla... (read more)