Effective Altruism ForumEA Forum

Jaime Sevilla
DirectoratEpoch
Working (0-5 years experience)

Director of Epoch

Currently working on:

• Macroeconomic models of AI takeoff
• Trends in Artificial Intelligence
• Forecasting cumulative records
• Improving forecast aggregation

I also run Connectome Art.

Sequences

Riesgos Catastróficos Globales
Aggregating Forecasts
Forecasting quantum computing

Topic Contributions

Announcing Epoch: A research organization investigating the road to Transformative AI

Thinking about the ways publications can be harmful is something that I wish was practiced more widely in the world, specially in the field of AI.

That being said, I believe that in EA, and in particular in AI Safety, the pendulum has swung too far - we would benefit from discussing these issues more openly.

In particular, I think that talking about AI scaling is unlikely to goad major companies to invest much more in AI (there are already huge incentives). And I think EAs and people otherwise invested in AI Safety would benefit from having access to the current best guesses of the people who spend more time thinking about the topic.

This does not exempt the responsibility for Epoch and other people working on AI Strategy to be mindful of how their work could result in harm, but I felt it was important to argue for more openness in the margin.

Announcing Epoch: A research organization investigating the road to Transformative AI

Our current publication policy is:

1. Any Epoch staff member can object when we announce intention to publish a paper or blogpost.
2. We then have a discussion about it. If we conclude that there is a harm and that the harm outweights the benefits we refrain from publishing.
3. If no consensus is reached we discuss the issue with some of our trusted partners and seek advice.
4. Some of our work that is not published is instead disseminated privately on a case-by-case basis

We think this policy has a good mix of being flexible and giving space for Epoch staff to raise concerns.

What actions most effective if you care about reproductive rights in America?

I have downvoted this comment.

I broadly resonate with the message that EAs should focus on the things that make them unique and that we should uphold the mentality of figuring out the most impact.

But I think some parts of the EA mindset would be very useful to tackle some other important issues like reproductive rights, and I think we should encourage playful and scientific exploration of topics.

These explorations are good exercises of cost effectiveness analysis, will help us find new problems to tackle and curiosity is a great value to promote.

Let co-authors access post analytics

I can get around this by asking the main coauthor to share the analytics, but I´d rather I could access them myself.

View and Bet in Manifold prediction markets on EA Forum

Love it!

Note: the visualization of previews is sometimes a bit wonky for me: it is shown over the link text which makes it hard to see what I was hovering over or quickly hover over adjacent links as in the beginning of this post. Also the box is slightly too small, showing an awkward scroll bar.

What's the value of creating my own fellowship program when I can direct people to the virtual programs?

It depends on what you want virtual programs to accomplish.

In my opinion, one of the most important reasons to run these events is so the organizers can get a sense of who are the people you can support best and how to support them.

If you are already have a process in place for meeting people one and one, and you feel these are enough to give you a sense of the people in your group, you might not need your own intro program.

Also, I am not completely informed, but my impression is that the virtual programs have a low bar for admitting new facilitators (I think they might invite anyone who has completed an in depth intro fellowship? And I don´t think there are any mechanisms yet like paired facilitating to give feedback to the facilitators). So quality assurance is more of an issue - you can get a great facilitator and cohort or a mediocre experience based on luck. A local version has more control over who facilitates and the experience, if this is something you want to invest into.

Lastly, a local program can help create ties between geographically proximate members, which can lead to them meeting in person and have more interactions.

These are all pro tanto reasons. In my opinion the first one is most crucial - if you already have a process in place to meet people and get a sense of them that is probably good enough, and you can instead focusing on supporting each individual after the intro program, helping them progress in their careers, etc.

Focus of the IPCC Assessment Reports Has Shifted to Lower Temperatures

Sounds reasonable enough to me.

The bet will resolve in your favor if the median temperature increase in the stated policies scenario of the 2032 IEA report is above 2°C.

If the IEA report does not exist or does not report an equivalent of their stated policies scenario the bet resolves ambiguously.

Very curious to see what will actually happen!

Focus of the IPCC Assessment Reports Has Shifted to Lower Temperatures

Good points, I agree that the articles I linked dont directly imply a less than 50% chance of 2ºC warming.

And FWIW Metaculus disagrees with me here, the community prediction is 85% probability of >2ºC warming.

I still hold my position, where my model is that:

1. Predictions today are much more optimistic than predictions 10 years ago
2. I expect that trend to continue, because we keep understimating social and tech progreess
3. I think that the academic process is biased towards being more pessimistic on climate change than the evidence warrants, because of policy concerns. I still expect them to update in the right direction, but rather slowly.

Let´s go with the second bet since it seems easier to orchestrate.

I´m actually not familiar with how the IPCC exactly reports their distributions. Do you (or anyone else reading this) want to suggest what would be the correct way to read the median temperature increase implied by what would be the 2032 IPCC report?

Focus of the IPCC Assessment Reports Has Shifted to Lower Temperatures

I appreciate this report and the effort that went into it. That being said, I think it's overly pessimistic considering the evidence we currently have. [1] [2]

I'd bet $1000 at 1:1 odds that we won't see warming over 2°C by 2100. I'd be happy to take a betting approach that allows for an earlier resolution - I think Tamay Besiroglu described one such procedure somewhere. I can dig it up if anyone wants to take my bet. Alternatively I would be happy to bet$100 that IPCC projections by 2032 will imply less than 50% probability of higher than 2°C warming by 2100.