'One metaphor for my headspace is that it feels as though the world is a set of people on a plane blasting down the runway:
And every time I read commentary on what's going on in the world, people are discussing how to arrange your seatbelt as comfortably as possible given that wearing one is part of life, or saying how the best moments in life are sitting with your family and watching the white lines whooshing by, or arguing about whose fault it is that there's a background roar making it hard to hear each other.
I don't know where we're actually heading, or what we can do about it. But I feel pretty solid in saying that we as a civilization are not ready for what's coming, and we need to start by taking it more seriously.' (Holden Karnofsky)
'If you know the aliens are landing in thirty years, it’s still a big deal now.' (Stuart Russell)
'Before the prospect of an intelligence explosion, we humans are like small children playing with a bomb. Such is the mismatch between the power of our plaything and the immaturity of our conduct. Superintelligence is a challenge for which we are not ready now and will not be ready for a long time. We have little idea when the detonation will occur, though if we hold the device to our ear we can hear a faint ticking sound. For a child with an undetonated bomb in its hands, a sensible thing to do would be to put it down gently, quickly back out of the room, and contact the nearest adult. Yet what we have here is not one child but many, each with access to an independent trigger mechanism. The chances that we will all find the sense to put down the dangerous stuff seem almost negligible. Some little idiot is bound to press the ignite button just to see what happens.' (Nick Bostrom)
'Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an 'intelligence explosion,' and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.' (I. J. Good)
'The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.' (Eliezer Yudkowsky)
'You can't fetch the coffee if you're dead' (Stuart Russell)
Consider applying for https://www.eacambridge.org/agi-safety-fundamentals
If I remember correctly (from 'The Precipice') 'Unaligned AI ~1 in 50 1.7' should actually be 'Unaligned AI ~1 in 10 1'.
From https://www.cold-takes.com/supplement-to-why-ai-alignment-could-be-hard/ : 'A model about as powerful as a human brain seems like it would be ~100-10,000 times larger than the largest neural networks trained today, and I think could be trained using an amount of data and computation that -- while probably prohibitive as of August 2021 -- would come within reach after 15-30 years of hardware and algorithmic improvements.' Is it safe to assume that this is an updated, shorter timeline compared to https://www.alignmentforum.org/posts/KrJfoZzpSDpnrv9va/draft-report-on-ai-timelines ?
Encouraging them to apply to the next round of the AGI Safety Fundamentals program https://www.eacambridge.org/agi-safety-fundamentals might be another idea. The curriculum there can also provide inspiration for reading group materials.