Madhav Malhotra

Teaching Assistant @ Centre for AI Safety
Pursuing an undergraduate degree
Working (0-5 years experience)



Is helpful/friendly :-) Loves to learn. Wants to solve neglected problems. See website for current progress.

How others can help me

I'm very interested in talking to biosecurity experts about neglected issues with: microneedle array patches, self-spreading animal/human vaccines, paper-based (or other cheap) microfluidic diagnostics, and/or massively-scalable medical countermeasure production via genetic engineering.

Also, interested in talking to experts on early childhood education and/or positive education!

How I can help others

Reach out if you have questions about: 

I'll respond to Linkedin the fastest :-)


This is certainly a useful resource for those who live in areas without the effective altruism groups around them! Thank you for sharing :-)

Could you please share more details on which parts of the curriculum would be inaccessible to recent graduates? From the outline of the book alone, it's hard to estimate the level of technical depth needed.

I'd look forward to seeing you post the results of the in-depth survey on the forum :-) 

I'm not sure this is a good idea. 

  • It seems possible that the individual interventions you're linking to research on are not representative of every possible intervention about skill development. 
  • Also, it seems possible that future interventions may integrate both building human and economic capital to enable recipients to make changes in their lives. Ie. Skill-building  + direct cash transfers. 
  • Also, it's generally uncertain whether GiveDirectly will continue to be the most effective or endorsed donation recommendation. I say this given changes in how we measure wellbeing (admittedly, a topic with frequent updates to opinions and mistake corrections being made). 

Why potentially reduce the effectiveness of those future interventions by launching this campaign? 

I'm surprised to see how the book giveaway is more expensive than the costs of actually placing the ads to get eyes on the sites! Why did you decide to give away a physical book? What do you think the cost-effectiveness of that is compared to ebooks or not having a giveaway?

Answer by Madhav MalhotraFeb 27, 202312

If you're interested in supporting education, scholarships to next generation education companies might be worth supporting (example - disclaimer, I've gone through the program of this particular company). 


Regarding investments in environmental causes, more neglected causes are more valuable to invest in. For instance, supporting NOVEL carbon capture companies (ie. not tree planting). 


Given the high-tech industry in Canada, it might be relatively advantageous to support neglected research priorities. 

  • For instance, you might be able to fund organisations like iGEM or the National Research Council to support biosecurity work on broad-spectrum antivirals, germicidal UV lights, shotgun genetic sequencing at airports, etc. Feel free to search the forum for simple explanations about these concepts. 
  • Similarly, you might be able to fund research grants to work on AI safety topics including interpretability, robustness, and anomaly detection research at the Vector Institute.


If you're donating to humanitarian causes, you'd have the greatest impact on the dollar directing resources to Indigenous communities. Interventions related to eCBT (mental health apps) for indigenous youth might be especially promising to fund. 

It would be helpful to hear more details (including sources) about the problem you've found:

  • What has the NSA publicly announced in its position on AGI? 
  • What has the external academic community or relevant nonprofits assessed their likely plans to be? 
  • Which decision-makers are involved in determining the NSA's policies on AGI development and/or safety?

Also, please add a more specific call to action describing:

  • The action you want to be taken
  • Which kinds of people are best suited to do this 

"I'm not sure I buy the fourth point - while there will be some competition between plant-based and cell-based meat, they also both compete with the currently much larger traditional meat market, and I think there are some consumers who would eat plant-based but not cell-based and vice versa."

  • How confident are you in your reasoning here? 
  • What kind of empirical evidence do you think would disprove/prove this argument? 

The evidence I've seen (Source) suggests that consumers are largely confused about the difference between cell-based and lab-based meats, which doesn't help sales of either. Also, cell-based meats are currently HORRIBLE for animal rights given the amount of suffering they cause to cow fetuses (Source). If consumers started conflating the issues with cell-based meats and plant-based meats, it would be a large setback to the industry. And given how largely the traditional dairy market has been lobbying against plant-based milks (Source), I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that they might intentionally blur the lines between cell-based and plant-based meats to find whatever arguments they can against alternative meats. 

I'm curious, how do you think about the relative importance of promoting cell-based (cultivated) vs. plant-based meat? 

  • From an animal suffering perspective, they both displace animals that might suffer. 
  • From an environmental perspective, plant-based meat is currently much better. (Source
  • Economically, one could argue that more competition will lead to more product choice, winning over more consumers. 
  • But one could also argue that the competition between plant-based and animal-based meats will keep traditional meats being consumed for longer and the product diversity won't be tangibly perceptible to consumers (taste, smell, look, feel, cost will have negligible differences over time).
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