It seems like RP's team is working remotely. If not please ignore my questions.
How do you deal with the challenges of researchers working remotely? How do you make sure you are having frequent exchanges and smooth communication?
In case you have some people working at one place (eg office) and some people working remotely:
How do you maintain a coherent team feeling? Do you think one requires such a feeling?
We can't give a public statement yet. We are expecting one on December 13. The intention of the institute is to cover GCR, x-risks and futurology/foresight.
As soon as we have something to publish I will update this comment and then report accordingly.
2 key information helped me to have impact (after I read about EA, the core ideas and values).
1. Not only AI-researchers can do impactful work. Also engineers and other fields. See: http://effectivethesis.com/
2. Most of EAs focus is on preventing x-risks/GCR which is correct because we can't afford to have them occur even once. Work on surviving and lessen the far future impact of x-risks is neglected. ALLFED (Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters) is working on feeding everyone in a catastrophe and has alot of low hanging fruits to work on for multiple disciplines. [80k podcast episode] [ALLFED papers on x-risks and solutions]
1. I didn't study something AI related and was unsure on how I could contribute in a meaningful and impactful way. I think this is a situation many new EAs face, as some of them are still studying when they hear about EA and they probably didn't choose their field of study with EA in mind. Luckily I found out about http://effectivethesis.com/ . There one can find ways to contribute. The suggested topics cover various fields from Agricultural Science, Economics, Engineering (my background) over to Sociology.
2. Regarding X-risks / GCR
Once one realizes the value of the longterm future one is eager to work on preventing x-risks/GCRs. Most of EAs work on reducing the probability of such events happening in the first place. E.g reducing the amount of nuclear weapons. I think this is the correct way of approaching these problems since for most of these scenarios humanity can't afford them to occur even once. But to contribute to AI research or to lessen the probability of a nuclear war one needs very specific skills that might not be the best fit for everyone. This can discourage new EAs.
Unfortunately for some of these scenarios (e.g super volcano, asteroid impact) the probability will never reach 0% and therefore we need to prepare. Surviving these catastrophes is often neglected. ALLFED (Alliance to Feed Earth in Disasters) is researching on feeding everyone no matter what and through that, lessen the far future impact of otherwise existential risks. Because this is neglected there are alot of low hanging fruits for people to work on. I for example started to work for ALLFED right after my undergrad / bachelors degree. People interested in this kind of work can find information here: [80k podcast episode] [ALLFED papers on x-risks and solutions]