Longtermist shower thought: what if we had a campaign to install Far-UVC in poultry farms? Seems like it could:
1. Reduce a bunch of diseases in the birds, which is good for: a. the birds’ welfare; b. the workers’ welfare; c. Therefore maybe the farmers’ bottom line?; d. Preventing/suppressing human pandemics (eg avian flu)
2. Would hopefully drive down the cost curve of Far-UVC
3. May also generate safety data in chickens, which could be helpful for derisking it for humans
Insofar as one of the main obstacles is humans' concerns for health effects, this would at least only raise these for a small group of workers.
There is a natural alliance that I haven't seen happen, but both are in my network: pandemic preparedness and covid-caution. Both want clean indoor air.
The latter group of citizens is a very mixed group, with both very reasonable people and unreasonable 'doomers'. Some people have good reason to remain cautious around COVID: immunocompromised people & their household, or people with a chronic illness, especially my network of people with Long Covid, who frequently (~20%) worsen from a new COVID case.
But these concerned citizens want clean air, and are willing to take action to make that happen. Given that the riskiest pathogens trend to also be airborne like SARS-COV-2, this would be a big win for pandemic preparedness.
Specifically, I believe both communities are aware of the policy objectives below and are already motivated to achieve it:
1) Air quality standards (CO2, PM2.5) in public spaces.
Schools are especially promising from both perspectives, given that parents are motivated to protect their children & children are the biggest spreaders of airborne diseases. Belgium has already adopted regulations (although very weak, it's a good start), showing that this is a tractable policy goal.
Ideally, air quality standards also incentivize Far UVC deployment, which would create the regulatory certainty for companies to invest in this technology.
Including standards for airborne pathogen concentrations would be great, but has many technical limitations at the moment I think.
2) Public R&D investments to bring down cost & establish safety of Far UVC
Most of these concerned citizens are actually aware of Far UVC and would support this measure. It appears safe in terms of no radiation damage, but may create unhealthy compounds (e.g. ozone) by chemically reacting with indoor air particles.
I also believe that governments have good reasons to adopt these policies, given that they would reduce the pressures on healthcare and could reduce the disease burde
With a number of charity evaluators recommendations coming out over the last few days/weeks, has there been any further development on AI safety/GCR evaluator(s)? A need that was raised in the post below (I don't know if best EA forum practice is to ressurrect an old thread or not, so I apologies if it's better I just comment in there).
Attempt to explain why I think AI systems are not the same thing as a library card when it comes to bio-risk.
To focus on less of an extreme example, I’ll be ignoring the case where AI can create new, more powerful pathogens faster than we can create defences, though I think this is an important case (some people just don’t find it plausible because it relies on the assumption that AIs being able to create new knowledge).
I think AI Safety people should make more of an effort to walkthrough the threat model so I’ll give an initial quick first try:
1) Library. If I’m a terrorist and I want to build a bioweapon, I have to spend several months reading books at minimum to understand how it all works. I don’t have any experts on-hand to explain how to do it step-by-step. I have to figure out which books to read and in what sequence. I have to look up external sources to figure out where I can buy specific materials.
Then, I have to somehow find out how to to gain access to those materials (this is the most difficult part for each case). Once I gain access to the materials, I still need to figure out how to make things work as a total noob at creating bioweapons. I will fail. Even experts fail. So, it will take many tries to get it right, and even then, there are tricks of the trade I’ll likely be unaware of no matter which books I read. Either it’s not in a book or it’s incredibly hard to find so you’ll basically never find it.
All this while needing a high enough degree of intelligence and competence.
2) AI agent system. You pull up your computer and ask for a synthesized step-by-step plan on how to cause the most death or ways to cripple your enemy. Many agents search through books and the internet while also using latent knowledge about the subject. It tells you everything you truly need to know in a concise 4-page document.
Relevant theory, practical steps (laid out with images and videos on how to do it), what to buy and where/how to buy it, pre-empting any q
Greetings! I'm a doctoral candidate and I have spent three years working as a freelance creator, specializing in crafting visual aids, particularly of a scientific nature. However, I'm enthusiastic about contributing my time to generate visuals that effectively support EA causes.
Typically, my work involves producing diagrams for academic grant applications, academic publications, and presentations. Nevertheless, I'm open to assisting with outreach illustrations or social media visuals as well. If you find yourself in need of such assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch! I'm happy to hop on a zoom chat
Monoclonal antibodies can be as effective as vaccines. If they can be given intramuscularly and have a long half life (like Evusheld, ~2 months), they can act as prophylactic that needs a booster once or twice a year.
They are probably neglected as a method to combat pandemics.
Their efficacy is easier to evaluate in the lab, because they generally don't rely on people's immune system.
Metaculus is excited to announce the winners of the inaugural Keep Virginia Safe Tournament! This first-of-its kind collaboration with the University of Virginia (UVA) Biocomplexity Institute and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) delivered forecasting and modeling resources to public health professionals and public policy experts as they have navigated critical decisions on COVID-19.
Congratulations to the top 3 prize winners!
Thank you to forecasting community! Your predictions were integrated into VDH planning sessions and were shared with local health department staff, statewide epidemiologists, and even with the Virginia Governor’s office.
For more details on the tournament outcomes, visit the project summary.
Our successful partnership with UVA and VDH continues through the Keep Virginia Safe II Tournament, where Metaculus forecasts continue to provide valuable information. Join to help protect Virginians and compete for $20,000 in prizes.
Find more information about the Keep Virginia Safe Tournament, including the complete leaderboard, here.
Load more (8/12)
I searched google for "gain of function UK" and the first hit was a petition to ban gain of function research in the UK that only got 106 signatures out of the 10,000 required.
How did this happen? Should we try again?