All of AryanYadav's Comments + Replies

Lessons for AI governance from the Biological Weapons Convention

Hey Kerry!

Good question. I included this disclaimer because to me it seems very hard to define what we exactly mean by an "AI weapon", which makes a complete ban, like the one the BWC has, implausible. 

8Kerry_Vaughan3moI think I still don't quite get why this seems implausible. (For what it's worth, I think your view is pretty mainstream, so I'm asking about it more to understand how people are thinking about AI and not as any kind of criticism of the post or the parenthetical.) It seems clear to me that an AI weapon could exist. AI systems designed to autonomously identify and destroy targets seem like a particularly clear example. A ban which distinguishes that technology from nearby civilian technology doesn't seem much more difficult than distinguishing biological weapons from civilian uses of biological technology. Of course we're mostly interested in AGI, not narrower AI technology. I agree that society doesn't think of AGI development as a weapons technology and so banning "AGI weapons" seems strange to contemplate, but it's not too difficult to imagine that changing! After all, many of the proponents of the technology are clear that they think it will be the most powerful technology ever invented, granting its creators unprecedented strength. Various components of the US military and intelligence services certainly seems to think AGI development has military implications, so the shift to seeing it as a dual-use weapons technology doesn't seem to be too big of a leap to imagine.
Who become an Effective Altruist?

I feel like this is a hard question to answer. People who identify as an Effective Altruist come from all sorts of backgrounds and I suppose there aren't specific groups of people who are more likely to become EAs, as opposed to others. 

2Miranda_Zhang4moWhile I agree this is a hard question + anyone could self-identify as an aspiring EA, I lean towards thinking that right now, EA attracts certain kinds of people moreso than others, as evidenced by Rethink Priorities' demographic surveys: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/ThdR8FzcfA8wckTJi/ea-survey-2020-demographics [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/ThdR8FzcfA8wckTJi/ea-survey-2020-demographics] At the very least, I suspect people who are more (academically) educated are more likely to become part of the EA community.
Writing about my job: Civil Servant (UK foreign policy)

Do you think working in the Civil Service has given you a good skillset that you could transfer over to other EA career paths? 

3PatrickL4moGreat question- I think this is particularly important because a lot of the value from government jobs comes later in your career [https://80000hours.org/career-reviews/policy-oriented-civil-service-uk/#but-you-need-to-be-better-than-other-marginal-civil-servants] , so if you are unsure it is a good fit, you particularly want to be gaining transferrable skills. I haven't worked in other EA career paths, which limits my insight a bit, but here's my best bet: Yes, I think it has given me a good (not excellent) skillset. * Working on policy questions gives good research skills- I've become skilled at digesting complex information from a range of sources, figuring which elements are relevant to the question I'm answering, and condensing them in to a clearly communicated recommendation. Frustratingly though, my work is usually too confidential to showcase this. * You get good experience of communicating why something matters. There are a million important issues a department deals with- being able to explain to others the importance of your area, and why it should be funded/worked on/discussed in meetings is a useful skill in the civil service and for e.g. spreading EA ideas or attracting fundraising. * I've practiced a lot of operations skills- setting up meetings or workshops, booking venues, managing competing deadlines and staying organised. I've gained management skills. I've gained recruiting experience (which is a bit civil-service-y but probably fairly transferrable). All these skills would be widely applicable, particularly if working at a non-profit. * I've been involved for a while in the UK government's forecasting efforts [https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2021/04/15/how-spooks-are-turning-to-superforecasting-in-the-cosmic-bazaar] - great for picking up forecasting skills! However, you also spend a fair amount of time/energy learning how to work with the system- like how different government dep