Co-Founder of High Impact Professionals. We enable working professionals to maximize their positive impact by supporting them in donating their time, skills and resources effectively.
Ex-CTO and MD of Germany for Founders Pledge. Big on promoting Effective Giving.
Originally from New York, living in Berlin.
I am not very involved in AI Safety but have heard multiple times from big funders in the ecosystem over time something like "everything in AI Safety that SHOULD be funded IS being funded. What we really need are good people working on it." I'd expect e.g. OP to be excited to fund great people working in the space, so curious why you think the people who will apply to your network aren't getting funded otherwise.
Just for context: I am very FOR a more diverse funding ecosystem so I think getting more people to fund more projects who have different strategies for funding and risk tolerances is going in the right direction.
Yeah I suppose we just disagree then. I think such a big error and hit to the community should downgrade any rational person's belief in the output of what EA has to offer and also downgrade the trust they are getting it right.
Another side point: Many EAs like Cowen and think he is right most of the time. I think it is suspicious that when Cowen says something about EA that is negative he is labeled stuff like "daft".
The difference in that example is that Scholtz is one person so the analogy doesn't hold. EA is a movement comprised of many, many people with different strengths, roles, motives, etc and CERTAINLY there are some people in the movement whose job it was (or at a minimum there are some people who thought long and hard) to mitigate PR/longterm risks to the movement.
I picture the criticism more like EA being a pyramid set in the ground, but upside down. At the top of the upside-down pyramid, where things are wide, there are people working to ensure the longterm future goes well on the object level, and perhaps would include Scholtz in your example.
At the bottom of the pyramid things come to a point, and that represents people on the lookout for x-risks to the endeavour itself, which is so small that it turned out to be the reason why things toppled, at least with respect to FTX. And that was indeed a problem. It says nothing about the value of doing x-risk work.
I think that is a charitable interpretation of Cowen's statement: "Hardly anyone associated with Future Fund saw the existential risk to…Future Fund, even though they were as close to it as one could possibly be."
I think charitably, he isn't saying that any given x-risk researcher should have seen an x-risk to the FTX project coming. Do you?
Great to hear! It was on my agenda to reach out to you today and I appreciate the proactivity!