Justin Olive

59Joined Sep 2022


Thanks very much for the recommendation, I'll do that now

Hi Geoffrey

Thanks for the kind words.

I did have a bit of a think about what the implications are for finding feasible AI governance solutions, and here's my personal take:

If it is true that 'inhibitive' governance measures (perhaps like those that are in effect at Google) cause ML engineers to move to more dangerous research zones, I believe it might be prudent to explore models of AI governance that 'accelerate' progress towards alignment, rather than slow down the progression towards misalignment.

My general argument would be as follows:

If we assume that it will be unfeasible to buy-out or convince most of the ML engineers on the planet to intrinsically value alignment, then it means that global actors with poor intentions (e.g. imperialist autocracies) will benefit from a system where well-intentioned actors have created a comparatively frustrating & unproductive environment for ML engineers. I.e. not only will they have a more efficient R&D pipeline due to lower restrictions, they may also have better capacity to hire & retain talent over the long-term.

One possible implication from this assertion is that the best course of action is to initiate an AI-alignment Manhattan project that focuses on working towards a state of 'stabilisation' in the geopolitical/technology realm. The intention of this is to change the structure of the AI ecosystem so that it favours 'aligned' AI by promoting progress in that area, rather than accidentally proliferating 'misaligned' AI by stifling progress in 'pro-alignment' zones.

I find this conclusion fairly disturbing and I hope there's some research out there that can disprove it.

Reductionist utilitarian models are like play-dough. They're fun and easy to work with, but useless for doing anything complicated and/or useful.

Perhaps in 100-200 years our understanding of neurobiology or psychometrics will be good enough for utilitarian modelling to become relevant to real life, but until then I don't see any point getting on the train.

The fact that intelligent, well-meaning individuals are wasting their time thinking about the St Petersburg paradox is ironically un-utilitarian; that time could be used to accomplish tasks which actually generate wellbeing.