Niel_Bowerman

I work on AI policy careers at 80,000 Hours.

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Careers Questions Open Thread

Hey Jia, I haven't done many online courses, but one that I did and enjoyed was the Coursera Deep Learning course with Andrew Ng.  https://www.coursera.org/specializations/deep-learning

I think if you will be working on multi-agent RL and haven't played around with deep learning models, you will likely find it helpful.  You code up a python model that gets increasingly complicated until it does things like attempting to identify a cat (if I'm remembering it correctly).  It's fairly 'hands on' but also somewhat accessible to people without a technical background.  

Friends of mine starting out at both CSET and OpenAI worked through it and found it helpful to get context as they moved into their new roles.  

UK Income Tax & Donations

This post is extremely helpful, and I have referred to it multiple times as I plan my finances. Thanks again for putting it together.

Space governance is important, tractable and neglected

The importance of this and related topics is premised on humanity's ability to achieve interstellar travel and settle other solar systems. Nick Beckstead did a shallow investigation into this question back in 2014, which didn't find any knockdown arguments against. Posting this here mainly as I haven't seen some of these arguments discussed in the wider community much.

Atari early

[Spitballing] I'm wondering if Angry Birds has just not been attempted by a major labs with sufficient compute resources? If you trained an agent like Agent57 or MuZero on Angry Birds then I am curious as to whether the agent would outperform humans?

Growth and the case against randomista development

This is one of the most thought-provoking (for me) posts that I've seen on the forum for a while. Thanks to you both for taking the time to put this together!

[Notes] Could climate change make Earth uninhabitable for humans?

Thanks for flagging this. I think estimating temperature rise after burning all available fossil fuels is mostly educated guesswork. Both estimating the total amount of fossil fuels is hard and estimate the climate response from them is hard.

However, I hadn't seen this Winkelmann, et al. paper, which makes a valuable contribution. It suggests that the climate response is substantially sub-linear at higher levels of warming.

The notes that are currently posted above about how warm it would get if we burned all the fossil fuels were back-of-the-envelope calculations that I did in this slides' notes, and I wouldn't trust them much. They assume a linear model which isn't reliable at these temperatures. I didn't end up including them in the talk as I didn't think they were robust enough. I'll ask Louis about removing them.

Thanks for flagging this Linch!

[Notes] Could climate change make Earth uninhabitable for humans?

Great question. I'm afraid I only have a vague answer: I would guess that the chance of climate change directly making Earth uninhabitable in the next few centuries is much smaller than 1 in 10,000. (That's ignoring the contribution of climate change to other risks.) I don't know how likely the LHC is to cause a black hole, but I would speculate with little knowledge that the climate habitability risk is greater than that.

As I mentioned in the talk, I think there are other emerging tech risks that are more likely and more pressing than this. But I would also encourage more folks with a background in climate science to focus on these tail risks if they were excited by questions in this space.

I'm Cullen O'Keefe, a Policy Researcher at OpenAI, AMA

What is you high-level on take on social justice in relation to EA?

Introducing Animal Advocacy Careers

Hi Lauren, this is Niel from 80,000 Hours. We've already discussed this over email, but I'm excited that new organisations are being set up in this space. 80,000 Hours has limited resources and is not planning on increasing the amount we invest in improving our advice for animal advocates in the near term. I'm hopeful that Animal Advocacy Careers will be able to better serve the animal advocacy community than we can. Best of luck with the project!

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