Aaron Bergman

1722 karmaJoined Working (0-5 years)Washington, DC, USA



I graduated from Georgetown University in December, 2021 with degrees in economics, mathematics and a philosophy minor. There, I founded and helped to lead Georgetown Effective Altruism. Over the last few years recent years, I've interned at the Department of the Interior, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Nonlinear.

Blog: aaronbergman.net

How others can help me

  • Give me honest, constructive feedback on any of my work
  • Introduce me to someone I might like to know :)
  • Offer me a job if you think I'd be a good fit
  • Send me recommended books, podcasts, or blog posts that there's like a >25% chance a pretty-online-and-into-EA-since 2017 person like me hasn't consumed
    • Rule of thumb standard maybe like "at least as good/interesting/useful as a random 80k podcast episode"

How I can help others

  • Open to research/writing collaboration :)
  • Would be excited to work on impactful data science/analysis/visualization projects
  • Can help with writing and/or editing
  • Discuss topics I might have some knowledge of
    • like: math, economics, philosophy (esp. philosophy of mind and ethics), psychopharmacology (hobby interest), helping to run a university EA group, data science, interning at government agencies


Topic contributions

Yes, this seems like an extremely good thing to do and I hope someone takes it on. LEEP and Shrimp Welfare Project seem like good models for what a small team can do.

I am not from South America, I am not well-positioned to work on this, but somebody really should do something. There’s lots to do.

Same, (sadly), but I'd be very happy to donate to such an effort (even something very early stage, pre 501c3 incorporation) and would try my best to get others to donate as well. 

I'd also emphasize that screwworm elimination is the only intervention I know of in its class - that is, an animal welfare intervention with persistent, long-ish term impact. As I wrote in a shortform post a while back:

More, if you think there’s a non-trivial chance of human disempowerment, societal collapse, or human extinction in the next 10 years, this would be important to do ASAP because we may not be able to later.

Seems important to me. 

Automated interface between Twitter and the Forum (eg a bot that, when tagged on twitter, posts the text and image of a tweet on Quick Takes and vice versa)

I’d be very surprised if you can’t get a job that pays much more than the sub teacher role- the gap between that and ~any EA org job is massive and inability to get the latter is only very weak evidence of inability to earn more.

Sorry if I missed this but this does depend a lot on location/willingness to move. The above assumes If you’re in the US and willing to move cities.

Also, living frugally to donate more is of course very virtuous if you take your salary to be a given, but from an altruistic perspective, insofar as they trade off, it’s probably much better to spend effort on finding a way to earn more.

This is a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine but this could look like “found a startup with a 5% chance of earning $10M” in addition to or instead of searching for higher salaried roles

Random sorta gimmicky AI safety community building idea: tabling at universities but with a couple laptop signed into Claude Pro with different accounts. Encourage students (and profs) to try giving it some hard question from eg a problem set and see how it performs. Ideally have a big monitor for onlookers to easily see.

Most college students are probably still using ChatGPT-3.5, if they use LLMs at all. There’s a big delta now between that and the frontier.

I made a custom GPT that is just normal, fully functional ChatGPT-4, but I will donate any revenue this generates[1] to effective charities. 

Presenting: Donation Printer 

  1. ^

    OpenAI is rolling out monetization for custom GPTs:

    Builders can earn based on GPT usage

    In Q1 we will launch a GPT builder revenue program. As a first step, US builders will be paid based on user engagement with their GPTs. We'll provide details on the criteria for payments as we get closer.

Yeah you're right, not sure what I missed on the first read

This doesn't obviously point in the direction of relatively and absolutely fewer small grants, though. Like naively it would shrink and/or shift the distribution to the left - not reshape it.

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