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Igor_Timofeev

2 karmaJoined May 2020

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Aging research boosts the impact of other altruistic interventions

It seems to me that the inverse can be argued - some other altruistic influences that increase the life expectancy of people, regardless of mortality from aging, increase the cost-effectiveness of working on arriving LEV, and possibly significantly (for example, if I reduce the risks of young people dying not associated with diseases in two times, I increase their life expectancy, most likely by less than a year, but if we have already reached LEV, then I will increase it by about 1000 years).

In this area, we will rarely see neglected problems that are also very tractable, and while hunting for giving opportunities, we should be on the lookout for projects that are very hard, risky, long term, and underfunded but, at the same time, necessary. By going against the sub-optimal common practice caused by the risk-averse mindset of the field, we can optimize research.


The first results achieved, which strongly affect DALY, can become a proof of concept and greatly increase funding for other projects - this is one of the key factors to consider. You mentioned this in other posts, I do not know why not in this. In addition, tractability also includes the probability that in this way the problem will not be solved in principle, which means that there may be other more promising methods. Although, of course, if we restrict ourselves to considering only one strategy in which all elements are necessary to achieve a result, it is irrelevant.

But you note very little on such aspects of the possible impact on LEV achievements as the development of artificial intelligence or human intelligence improving technologies, lobbying for laws and popularization, transplantology, nanotechnology, neurobiology, cryonics, futurology and sociology, which can give the best understanding of the reasons for avoiding the fight against death and making better plans for it (taking into account systematic causes that affect scientific and technological progress effectiveness, for example). If you consider all these possibilities, then the technology proposed by Aubrey de Gray will not be the only option to arriving LEV.

Some of these areas, such as futurology, the development of safe AI and human intelligence improving technologies, can be especially attractive, as they positively affect both the achievement of LEV and existential risks.

In your next post, you wrote that aging research may be second or third after X-risk.


But, it seems to me, a comparison of the fight against aging with existential risks such as artificial intelligence is not entirely obvious (although it is most likely true that AI alignment more important in altruistic view). Effective altruists do not yet have an established way to translate existential risks into QALY, so they evaluate them separately. While this is most likely possible and important to do.

Personal-affecting and impersonal views will differ greatly in evaluating the importance of existential risk by QALY, since in the first case we lose only the entire population of humanity, and in the second, all possible people of the future, which could exist many in the Universe. On the other hand, the question is also not limited to this, because for somebody existence of people and consciousness in the Universe may be valuable, but not the value of maximizing the number of these people. And this value will need to be somehow separately evaluated.

In addition, in the case of an impersonal view, one must look at the expected number of people saved when the existential risks change by some amount that will be equal to the difference between the expected values ​​with a new doom probability and an old one. Since the risk will never become zero can't exist influence which value will be equal to all QALYs that are could placed in the remaining time in the Universe.

It would be interesting to solve this problem, but even without taking this into account, I would like aging to be placed in the list.