Working on forecasting infrastructure under grants from the EA Long-Term Future Fund and BERI. Those were counterfactually important for lots of stuff I write.

Wiki Contributions


2018-2019 Long-Term Future Fund Grantees: How did they do?

I was a grantee in 2019 and consent to having my evaluation shared publicly, if Nuno wants to post it. 

2018-2019 Long-Term Future Fund Grantees: How did they do?

To really make this update, I'd want some more bins than the ones Nuno provide. That is, there could be an "extremely more successful than expected" bin; and all that matters is whether you manage to get any grant in that bin. 

(For example, I think Roam got a grant in 2018-2019, and they might fall in that bin, though I haven't thought a lot about it.) 

How Dependent is the Effective Altruism Movement on Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna?

Counterpoint: yes, Facebook has lots of public image issues. As a result, we have good evidence that they're an org that's unusually resistant to such problems!

They've been having scandals since they were founded. And in spite of all the things you mention, their market cap has almost doubled since the bottom of the Cambridge Analytica fall-out.

They're also one of the world's most valuable companies, and operate in a sector (software) that on an inside view seems well poised to do well in future (unlike, say, Berkshire Hathaway, which has about the same market cap).

You might have concerns about having a non-diversified portfolio in general. But modulo that, I honestly think Facebook seems like a pretty good bet.

Delegate a forecast

Conditional on OpenAI API generating at least $100M in total revenue for OpenAI, by what year will that happen?

(You might also want to combine this with an estimate of the binary variable of whether it will generate $100M in revenue at all.)

[Job ad] Lead an ambitious COVID-19 forecasting project [Deadline: June 1st]

I'm also posting a bounty for suggesting good candidates: $1000 for successful leads on a new project manager; $100 for leads on a top 5 candidate


I will pay you $1000 if you:

  • Send us the name of a person…
  • …who we did not already have on our list…
  • …who we contacted because of your recommendation...
  • ...who ends up taking on the role

I will pay you $100 if the person ends up among the top 5 candidates (by our evaluation), but does not take the role (given the other above constraints).

There’s no requirement for you to submit more than just a name. Though, of course, providing intros, references, and so forth, would make it more likely that we could actually evaluate the candidate.

NO bounty will be awarded if you...

  • Mention the person who actually gets hired, but I never see your message
  • Mention a person who does not get hired/become a top 5 candidate
  • Nominate yourself and get hired
  • If multiple people nominate the same person, bounty goes to the first person whose nomination we actually read and act on

Remaining details will be at our discretion. Feel free to ask questions in comments.

You can private message me here.

Seeking a CEO for new x-risk funding charity in the UK

Ought (~$5000) and Rethink Priorities (~$500) have both done it, with bounties roughly what I indicated (though I'm a bit uncertain). Don't think either has completed the relevant hiring rounds yet.

Concerning the Recent 2019-Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

In addition, I'll mention:

Attempted summary of the 2019-nCoV situation — 80,000 Hours

Here's a list of public forecasting platforms where participants are tracking the situation:

Foretold is tracking ~20 questions and is open to anyone adding their own, but doesn't have very many predictions.

Metaculus is tracking a handful questions and has a substantial number of predictions.

The John Hopkins disease prediction project lists 3 questions. You have to sign up to view them. (I also think you can't see the crowd average before you've made your prediction.)

[Link] What opinions do you hold that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of effective altruists? Anonymous form.

This set-up does seem like it could be exploitable in an adversarial manner... but my impression from reading the poll results, is that this is weak evidence against that actually being a failure mode -- since it doesn't seem to have happened.

I didn't notice any attempts to frame a particular person multiple times. The cases where there were repeated criticism of some orgs seemed to plausibly come from different accounts, since they often offered different reasons for the criticism or seemed stylistically different.

Moreover, if asked beforehand about the outcomes of something that can be read as "an open invitation to anonymous trolling that will get read by a huge amount of people in the movement"... I would have expected to see things way, way worse than what I actually saw. In fact, I've seen many public and identifiable comments sections on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter that were much worse than this anonymous poll.

(I claim these things weakly based on having read through all the responses in the sheet. I didn't analyse them in-depth with an eye to finding traces of adversarial action, and don't expect my approach here would have caught more sophisticated attempts.)

[Link] What opinions do you hold that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of effective altruists? Anonymous form.
If there were a way to do this with those opinions laundered out, then I wouldn't have a problem.

I interpret [1] you here as saying "if you press the button of 'make people search for all their offensive and socially disapproved beliefs, and collect the responses in a single place' you will inevitably have a bad time. There are complex reasons lots of beliefs have evolved to be socially punished, and tearing down those fences might be really terrible. Even worse, there are externalities such that one person saying something crazy is going to negatively effect *everyone* in the community, and one must be very careful when setting up systems that create such externalities. Importantly though, these costs aren't intrinsically tied up with the benefits of this poll -- you *can* have good ways of dispelling bubbles and encouraging important whistle-blowing, without opening a Pandora's box of reputational hazards."

1) Curious if this seems right to you?

2) More importantly, I'm curious about what concrete versions of this you would be fine with, or support?

Someone suggested:

a version with Forum users with >100 karma

Would that address your concerns? Is there anything else that would?

[1] This is to a large extent: "the most plausible version of something similar to what you're saying, that I understand from my own position", rather than than "something I'm very confident you actually belief".

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