Hello! The aim of this event is to be open to students who are familiar with the basic ideas of EA, and to non-students who are also familiar with the basic ideas of EA and want to mentor students.
We accepted around 95% of student applicants to this event. In most cases where we did not accept a student’s application, the reason was that they provided so little information that we could not tell if they were familiar with EA. In some cases where we rejected applications from non-students, it was because they indicated they were primarily interested in networking, etc rather than mentoring students which is the focus of this event.
In the case of students who indicated very little knowledge about EA, we sent them a message saying they weren’t currently accepted and offering them suggested readings on EA if they wanted to learn more and then re-apply. We offered this until shortly before the application deadline.
We heard from a few people who didn’t notice their acceptance email because of the folder it went to in their inbox — we recommend checking all the folders if you’re expecting a response from us and haven’t heard back!
Thanks for the feedback, Tyler!
To clarify: most of these questions aren’t actually *application/registration* questions for the event. Rather, they are meant to help us gather information about the community, and most are optional. I notice that you applied on May 12th - we have since gotten feedback that we should clarify that point, so we tried to make a clear distinction between the small number of application questions and the larger number of information-gathering questions. Half of the attendees got an especially long application form and shorter registration form, where the other half got a long registration form and shorter application form.
We hope to use this information to understand the different types of users that we attract and what kinds of content and interactions provide the most value, to help us get a better sense of the value EA Global and CEA as a whole provide the community.
I hope the length of the application doesn’t serve as too much of a deterrent. We don’t have many barriers to entry for this event (ticket prices are on a sliding scale starting at $5, and we expect to admit most applicants who aren’t completely new to EA), and we are hoping it can be the biggest event yet. So far, we have more than 1000 applications, so it looks like we could be on track! I look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you! Yes, the individual videos are all scheduled to go live immediately after the conference.
Thanks for your kind words and for your question! We have a mix of content that we are testing:
We are trying to test a few different content types so that we can learn as much as we can for possible future events and to hopefully find some virtual content types that people really like! The videos will be combined with our live hosting via a live stream this weekend. This should mean that we can post the videos on YouTube sooner.
Yes, this time the virtual meeting rooms are limited to folks who registered for EA Global SF. This type of event is all new to us and we decided to limit the matchmaking tool for now so that we can test the format and work out the bugs. I hope it works well! If it does I’ll be excited to explore rolling it out to more people later in the year.
Thanks for the comment! Toby is going to do a written AMA on the Forum later in the year too. This one is timed so that we can have video answers during Virtual EA Global.
Thanks!This year we did set a higher price, which more accurately reflects the cost of putting on the event. But it’s important to us that the ticket price not block attendees from coming, so we’re continuing the use of discount codes. We hope that people will use the discounts if that’s what makes it practical for them to attend (even if they are not low-income but are, for example, prioritizing donation).
Thanks for your comment. To improve the breadth of EAA topics covered at EA Global, I started working with Tyler John as my first advisor in 2017. This year we have an advisory board consisting of ~25 people outside of CEA with expertise in AI, animals, biosecurity, global health & development, horizon scanning (topics that push the frontiers of EA), and meta EA, as well as a “wild card” section for additional suggestions. I’d need to check with the rest of the advisors before sharing their names.
I agree that our selection process for animal-focused speakers in 2015 and 2016 left a lot to be desired. In 2017 we began working with advisors from specific fields to be sure we’re reaching out to speakers with expertise on the topics that conference attendees most want to hear about. This year we’ve expanded to a larger advisory board with the hope that we can continue to improve the EA Global content.
Joey, thanks for your post! I work for CEA and am the Curator of EA Global. I manage content for the event so I’m responding to that part of the post.
When deciding which speakers to solicit, I try to consider things like cause area representation, presenter diversity, and the development of community norms, among other things. It is really hard to get this right, and I know that I’ve fallen short of where I’d like to be on all of these.
I do think we’ve managed to improve on the representativeness dimension over the past couple of years. I know there’s room for reasonable disagreement about how to categorize talks, and I think you and I must be looking at the talk categories differently because I’m coming up with a very different distribution than you mention. For talks at EA Global 2018, I count 21% animals, 18% meta/rationality, 25% AI/x-risk/GCRs, 14% global health and development, 7% government/policy and 14% other topics. Across the four events in 2017 and 2018, my breakdown shows 15% animals, 20% AI/x-risk/GCRs, 14% health and development, 11% government/policy, 23% meta/rationality, and 19% other. Here is a link to a categorization of all of the talks from 2017 and 2018 by cause area so that you can see how I’m thinking about the talk distribution (in the interest of time, and since you mentioned talks, I haven’t included meetups, office hours, workshops, or whiteboard sessions). I haven’t done the breakdown for 2015 and 2016, but I think we are representing the community’s interests better in recent years than we did in the past.
This year I’ve commissioned recommendations from EAs with subject matter expertise in the different cause areas to try to improve further. We also welcome speaker and content suggestions from the community. Please submit ideas for EA Global London here.