PhD-ing. I think and write about AI safety, cognitive science, history and philosophy of science/technology.
Helpful post, Zach! I think it's more useful and concrete to focus on asking about specific capabilities instead of asking about AGI/TAI etc. and I'm pushing myself to ask such questions (e.g., when do you expect to have LLMs that can emulate Richard Feynmann-level -of-text). Also, I like the generality vs capability distinction. We already have a generalist (Gato) but we don't consider it to be an AGI (I think).
The quick answer is that wanting to do alignment-related work does not depend on a Philosophy PhD, or any graduate degree tbh. I'd say, start thinking about what are your interests more specifically and then there might be different paths to impact with or without the degree.