PhD student @ UCLA
29 karmaJoined Aug 2022Pursuing a doctoral degree (e.g. PhD)



Researching AI governance at the intersection of political science and economics.

There is no evidence for a genetic component behind IQ differences between races.


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Having done some of this modelling myself, I think it's difficult to pin down the exact outcome of a particular race. Some empirical evidence suggests that winning a patent race leads to more follow-on innovation, while other models, including those fitted to data, suggest that laggards are often more innovative. However, models also suggest that laggards who are quite far behind tend to give up racing entirely.

My tentative conclusion is that the finding you highlight is plausible enough such that I'd consider small gaps in innovativeness to ~= neck-and-neck races, but larger gaps to produce a monopoly-like situation for the race leader. Determining where precisely this cutoff, of course, is difficult.

This lack is one (among several) reasons why I haven't shifted any of my donations toward longtermist causes.

Thanks for your thoughts!

  1. Good question! I'll need to think more about this, but my initial impression is that regular surveying of developers about AI progress could help by quantifying their level of uncertainty over the arrival rate of particular milestones, which is likely correlated with how they believe expected capabilities investments map onto progress.
  2. That seems right, though it likely depends upon how substitutable safety research is across firms.