Lauren Maria

972 karmaJoined


I helped re-start the UBC EA club in 2022. I'm interested in global health and development and animal welfare. 


Another idea I had is that talking to young attendees about what to look for in a an employer might be a good idea, but maybe this is already done/or it has been considered and vetoed but I don’t know!

I have no idea because I have never gone to a conference. I would expect that at most professional conferences the senior attendees who are offering careers (maybe universities or hospitals offering research positions) would have a minimum level of professionalism in the employment opportunity they are offering the junior attendees, but I genuinely have no idea how these things work! My concern really stems from meeting a lot of highly capable, excited, intelligent, young people at my university group, and wanting to make sure that they are protected! I hope that comes across in my question. I appreciate Catherine’s response though, and I do think this is harder to do in practice than I considered.

Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for explaining. 

Thanks for the reply! I guess I thought that since the CEA already does vet people before they can attend EAG, that maybe this wouldn't be that hard to do in practise. But I see that most people disagree with me and I appreciate your reply!  

Since Alice met Emerson at an EAG, I'd like to hear what the CEA's response to this is? I am curious how this sort of thing could be prevented in the future. Perhaps if someone who works for or owns a company meets someone they want to recruit from an EAG, there should be some protections for the young person attending the EAG (for ex- the company supplies the CEA with data about who they recruited, how much they plan to pay them, etc). I think young people attending an EAG would assume that the more senior people attending, who may be potential employers, would have been vetted and are acting in good faith. But if that isn't the case (which clearly wasn't here), then there is a serious problem. This is really concerning to me being someone who is currently in university, who knows young people who are eager to or who have attended EAGs, and could fall prey to people like this. 

Hi Dave,

Thanks for taking the time to write this. I had an almost identical experience at my university. I helped re-start the club, with every intention to lead the club, but I am no longer associated with it because of the lack of willingness from others to engage with AI safety criticisms or to challenge their own beliefs regarding AI safety/Existential risk.

I also felt that those in our group who prioritized AI safety had an advantage as far as getting recognition from more senior members of the city group, ability to form connections with other EAs in the club, and to get funding from EA orgs. I was quite certain I could get funding from the CEA too, as long as I lied and said I prioritized AI safety/Existential risk, but I wasn’t willing to do that. I also felt the money given to other organizers in the club was not necessary and did not have any positive outcomes other than for that individual.

I am now basically fully estranged from the club (which sucks, because I actually enjoyed the company of everyone) because I do not feel like my values, and the values I originally became interested in EA for (such as epistemic humility) exist in the space I was in.

I did manage to have a few conversations with people in the club about AI safety that were somewhat productive, and I am grateful for those people (one senior EA community member who works in AI safety in particular). But despite this, our club basically felt like an AI safety club. Almost every student involved (at least the consistent ones, and the president) were AI safety focused. In addition, they were mainly interested in starting AI safety reading groups and most conversations led to AI safety (other than a philosophy group that my partner and I started, but eventually stopped running).

I like the donation dashboard too, and the sign-up process was quick and easy! Really nice work here! I shared it with my local EA university group. 

I like this idea because it is simple and makes donations less daunting especially for a student like myself since there is a $10 cap. I'll be signing up :) 

Thanks for sharing the thought process behind this! It actually took me a really long time to know why it went blue too, but when I figured it out I found it a really useful way to quickly check for new comments in conversations I was following.

I like this idea. At our university clubs day tabling event, we gave quite a few books away and not a single person who took a book ended up coming to one of our meetings. I think lending would probably be a better practise since, as you say, it is an invitation to talk more about what the person thought of the book. 

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