Denise_Melchin's Comments

Finding an egg cell donor in the EA community

Hi linn!

Which country are you in? I have been putting a lot of thought into becoming an egg donor in the UK over the past few months and am currently in the evaluation process for one egg bank and one matching service.

First I would like to note that while most matching services primarily match on phenotype, there certainly are some where you get a detailed profile from the potential donors. I would be happy to tell you the name of the matching agency in the UK that I have been working with which strongly encourages getting a good personality match.

I would expect finding a donor directly from the EA community to be much harder, but maybe someone will respond to your request (but it would be good to know where you live!). Feel free to PM to chat more.

Long-Term Future Fund and EA Meta Fund applications open until June 12th

We have a limited pot of money available, so our decisions are primarily bottlenecked by its size. We have occasionally (once?) decided to not to spend the complete available amount to have more money available for the next distribution cycle, when we had reason to assume we would be able to make stronger grants then.

I am not sure whether that answered your question?

New data suggests the ‘leaders’’ priorities represent the core of the community

This is very much an aside, but I would be really curious how many people you perceive as having changed their views to longtermism would actually agree with this. (According to David's analysis, it is probably a decent amount.)

E.g. I'm wondering whether I would count in this category. From the outside I might have looked like I changed my views towards longtermism, while from the inside I would describe my views as pretty agnostic, but I prioritised community preferences over my own. There might also be some people who felt like they had to appear to have or act on longtermist views to not lose access to the community.

New data suggests the ‘leaders’’ priorities represent the core of the community

Yes, that is what I meant. Thank you so much for providing additional analysis!

New data suggests the ‘leaders’’ priorities represent the core of the community

Thank you for looking into the numbers! While I don't have a strong view on how representative the EA Leaders forum is, taking the survey results about engagement at face value doesn't seem right to me.

On the issue of long-termism, I would expect that people who don't identify as long-termists to now report to be less engaged with the EA Community (especially with the 'core') and identify as EA less. Long-termism has become a dominant orientation in the EA Community which might put people off the EA Community, even if their personal views and actions related to doing good haven't changed, e.g. their donations amounts and career plans. The same goes for looking at how long people have been involved with EA - people who aren't compelled by long-termism might have dropped out of identifying as EA without actually changing their actions.

What will 80,000 Hours provide (and not provide) within the effective altruism community?

Strong upvoted. I think a post like this is extremely useful as a resource to clarify 80,000 hours role for the community. I appreciate 80,000 hours has previously been putting effort into communicating how they see their role in the community in comments on this Forum, but communicating this clearly in one place so people can easily point to it seems very valuable to me.

Discontinuous progress in history: an update

Great post!

Brief note: I found The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage (basically a history of the telegraph) very useful for training my intuition what the development of a discontinuity like the telegraph looked like both from the scientists' and engineers' perspective as well as the societal changes that followed.

My personal cruxes for working on AI safety

This was great, thank you. I've been asking people about their reasons to work on AI safety as opposed to other world improving things, assuming they want to maximize the world improving things they do. Wonderful when people write it up without me having to ask!

One thing this post/your talk would have benefited from to make things clearer (or well, at least for me) is if you gave more detail on the question of how you define 'AGI', since all the cruxes depend on it.

Thank you for defining AGI as something that can do regularly smart human things and then asking the very important question how expensive that AGI is. But what are those regularly smart human things? What fraction of them would be necessary (though that depends a lot on how you define 'task')?

I still feel very confused about a lot of things. My impression is that AI is much better than humans at quite a few narrow tasks though this depends on the definition. If AI was suddenly much better than humans at half of all the tasks human can do, but sucked at the rest, then that wouldn't count as artificial 'general' intelligence under your definition(?) but it's unclear to me whether that would be any less transformative though this depends a lot on the cost again. Now that I think about it, I don't think I understand how your definition of AGI is different to the results of whole-brain emulation, apart from the fact that they used different ways to get there. I'm also not clear on whether you use the same definition as other people, whether those usually use the same one and how much all the other cruxes depend on how exactly you define AGI.

Who should give sperm/eggs?

I'm fairly surprised by this response, this doesn't match what I have read. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority imposes a limit for sperm and egg donors to donate to a maximum of ten families in the UK, although there is no limit on how many children might be born to these ten families (I'm struggling to link, but google 'HFEA ten family limit'). But realistically, they won't all want to have three children.

I'm curious whether you have a source for the claim that 99% of prospective sperm donors in the UK get rejected? I'm much less confident about this, but this doesn't line up with my impression. I also didn't have the impression they were particularly picky about egg donors, unlike in the US.

But yes, it's true for sperm and egg donors alike that in the UK they can be contacted once the offspring turns 18.

Who should give sperm/eggs?

There are also multiple medical and genetic appointments required in advance. I am currently undergoing the process to become an egg donor in the UK (though there is a good chance that I will be rejected) and the process is quite involved. To some extent, this is also true for sperm donors.

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