Working with Andreas (Ought cofounder)
Thanks for your question!
I found your factored cognition project really interesting, is anyone still researching this? (besides the implementation in Elicit)
Outside of Elicit, not sure. johnwentworth implied there are new researchers interested in this space.
Are you currently collaborating with other EA orgs doing research?
Nothing formal at the moment but we study a lot of independent EA researchers closely. Researchers at GiveWell and Happier Lives Institute have been particularly helpful recently. In the past, we’ve also worked closely with organizations like CSET, READI, and Effective Thesis.
What are the biggest success stories of people using Elicit?
Unfortunately I don’t have explicit permission to share details about them right now but will try to gesture.
We have many everyday success stories - Elicit saving people a ton of time, helping people ramp up in new domains, showing them research they didn’t find anywhere else (including on Google Scholar).
Elicit helped one researcher refine their PhD dissertation proposal questions, another respond to a last-minute peer review request, another prep an investor presentation, and another find a bunch of different parameters to determine carbon metrics for a forest restoration grant proposal.
You can see some of the success measures & testimonials linked here.
This is a live product - not just a demo! You can use it at elicit.org.
More than 45K users have tried it and ~ 10K use it each month. Users say that Elicit saves them ~ 1-2 hours / week. They proactively share positive feedback on places like Twitter and with their colleagues or friends: Elicit’s growth is entirely by word of mouth.
I agree that having people pay for it is one of the greatest indicators of value. We’ll have to balance financial sustainability with the desire to make high-quality accessible.
At some point, we probably will do a more formal evaluation e.g. RCT type study.
We’re experimenting with collecting donations from the individual researchers who use it. We might launch spin-off products in the future that are more commercial or enable Elicit overall to be financially sustainable e.g. an API that lets research orgs run Elicit on their own documents.
Highly recommend Insights as well! Pricey though.