Aris Richardson

Senior Advisor at EA Berkeley.

Topic Contributions

Comments

Most students who would agree with EA ideas haven't heard of EA yet (results of a large-scale survey)

This is super cool research and it’s great that you all were able to conduct this survey!!

I think it’s great that you all renamed to survey so that it didn’t specifically attract people who looked for words like “effective” or “altruism” or “existential risk.”

Calling for Student Submissions: AI Safety Distillation Contest

I wasn’t anticipating releasing the list (in some part because people may try to pander to a certain judge’s background and in some part to allow myself and the judges more flexibility in adding people last second).

Sending some judge recommendations my way would be great! I think having a variety of readers would be helpful :) Thank you!

Calling for Student Submissions: AI Safety Distillation Contest

Great point! Early on, I had someone more connected than me make a list of potential judges. We have 15 names brainstormed and sectioned off by how much they know about alignment. I can say with pretty high certainty that I imagine we will at least have someone whose full-time job is alignment reading the submissions (likely a person with a CS doctorate), but hopefully, we could get even more expertise :) 

Calling for Student Submissions: AI Safety Distillation Contest

I do think it's possible that we might award more prizes retroactively if we recognize that we receive a lot of valuable submissions! Maybe an "honorable mentions" category.

Ah, I think my worry is that it feels difficult for me to find a standard to rate that actually tracks quality. If I give a couple of examples, people may feel limited to having their work look like those examples. I might say "make your distillation 1,000 words and explain two papers and I'll give you a prize" but 1,500 words on one paper might have made an optimal submission and I would have limited people's abilities. I think I find it hard to quantify a bar on writing since everyone has such different approaches. I think the real bar is something more like "the judges who know more about AI Safety than me believe that you have communicated this idea really well" and because of that it feels wrong for me to try to say "and if you do x you will definitely win something."

Calling for Student Submissions: AI Safety Distillation Contest

Hi! I’ve been thinking about this a bit more and I do think I want graduate students to be able to submit! However, since the main audience is meant to be undergraduate students, I may have to be harsher in evaluation or, more excitingly, maybe I could create a new tier for graduate students? For now I’d say feel free to submit and I’ll work out more specifics on my end and make an edit (+ reply to this) if I make official changes!

Calling for Student Submissions: AI Safety Distillation Contest

The primary audience for this contests is undergrad, but Master’s students are allowed!

Calling for Student Submissions: AI Safety Distillation Contest

Oh, great idea! If nothing else, distill.pub is a great resource for me to list!

Calling for Student Submissions: AI Safety Distillation Contest

Thank you! These are thoughtful comments! I think I will try to add more texts and find more readers, as you suggest. 

I've been thinking of going into working on creating contests in the future as a potentially serious work project, so I hope to create some contests that can be larger scale then! Right now, I'm rather limited in capacity. Thankfully, I'm connected with some other great university organizers who I've let know about advertising at their schools. 

I think it would be tricky to have clear baseline cutoffs for distillation that still capture quality since writing varies so much between people. Do you have any ideas of clear cutoffs that would retain quality (for future contests if nothing else)? 

Calling for Student Submissions: AI Safety Distillation Contest

Unfortunately, I created this contest to help build up university groups, so I think keeping the contest limited to enrolled students (including students who are entering college later this year and students who will graduate before the contest ends) would be the best way to ensure that students feel like they have an advantage in the contest. Thank you for clarifying!

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