I work primarily on AI Alignment. My main direction at the moment is to accelerate alignment work via language models and interpretability.
I shared the following as a bio for EAG Bay Area 2024. I'm sharing this here if it reaches someone who wants to chat or collaborate.
Hey! I'm Jacques. I'm an independent technical alignment researcher with a background in physics and experience in government (social innovation, strategic foresight, mental health and energy regulation). Link to Swapcard profile. Twitter/X.
TOPICS TO CHAT ABOUT
TYPES OF PEOPLE I'D LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH
Another data point: I got my start in alignment through the AISC. I had just left my job, so I spent 4 months skilling up and working hard on my AISC project. I started hanging out on EleutherAI because my mentors spent a lot of time there. This led me to do AGISF in parallel.
After those 4 months, I attended MATS 2.0 and 2.1. I've been doing independent research for ~1 year and have about 8.5 more months of funding left.
More information about the alleged manipulative behaviour of Sam Altman
Update, board members seem to be holding their ground more than expected in this tight situation:
My current speculation as to what is happening at OpenAI
How do we know this wasn't their best opportunity to strike if Sam was indeed not being totally honest with the board?
Let's say the rumours are true, that Sam is building out external orgs (NVIDIA competitor and iPhone-like competitor) to escape the power of the board and potentially go against the charter. Would this 'conflict of interest' be enough? If you take that story forward, it sounds more and more like he was setting up AGI to be run by external companies, using OpenAI as a fundraising bargaining chip, and having a significant financial interest in plugging AGI into those outside orgs.
So, if we think about this strategically, how long should they wait as board members who are trying to uphold the charter?
On top of this, it seems (according to Sam) that OpenAI has made a significant transformer-level breakthrough recently, which implies a significant capability jump. Long-term reasoning? Basically, anything short of 'coming up with novel insights in physics' is on the table, given that Sam recently used that line as the line we need to cross to get to AGI.
So, it could be a mix of, Ilya thinking they have achieved AGI while Sam places a higher bar (internal communication disagreements) + the board not being alerted (maybe more than once) about what Sam is doing, e.g. fundraising for both OpenAI and the orgs he wants to connect AGI to + new board members who are more willing to let Sam and GDB do what they want being added soon (another rumour I've heard) + ???. Basically, perhaps they saw this as their final opportunity to have any veto on actions like this.
Here's what I currently believe:
Other possible things:
Quillette founder seems to be planning to write an article regarding EA's impact on on tech:
"If anyone with insider knowledge wants to write about the impact of Effective Altruism in the technology industry please get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org. We pay our writers and can protect authors' anonymity if desired."
It would probably be impactful if someone in the know provided a counterbalance to whoever will undoubtedly email her to disparage EA with half-truths/lies.
To share another perspective: As an independent alignment researcher, I also feel really conflicted. I could be making several multiples of my salary if my focus was to get a role on an alignment team at an AGI lab. My other option would be building startups trying to hit it big and providing more funding to what I think is needed.
Like, I could say, "well, I'm already working directly on something and taking a big pay-cut so I shouldn't need to donate close to 10%", but something about that doesn't feel right... But then to counter-balance that, I'm constantly worried that I just won't get funding anymore at some point and would be in need of money to pay for expenses during a transition.
I've also started working on a repo in order to make Community Notes more efficient by using LLMs.
Don't forget that we train language models on the internet! The more truthful your dataset is, the more truthful the models will be! Let's revamp the internet for truthfulness, and we'll subsequently improve truthfulness in our AI systems!!
I shared a tweet about it here: https://x.com/JacquesThibs/status/1724492016254341208?s=20
Consider liking and retweeting it if you think this is impactful. I'd like it to get into the hands of the right people.