Risto_Uuk

Risto does research on trustworthy AI in the project by AI4EU (funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020). He also studies economics, public policy, and philosophy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Furthermore, he founded Effective Altruism Estonia, an NGO that promotes the ideas of how to do the most good using reason and evidence, where he now advises new leaders and volunteers. Previously, he worked for five years as a personal coach helping people improve their exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle habits. If you have a promising project that could improve the world a lot, let him know and he might join.

Risto_Uuk's Comments

I'm Michelle Hutchinson, head of advising at 80,000 Hours, AMA

Why did you decide to move from Global Priorities Institute to 80,000 Hours?

Local EA Group Organizers Survey 2019

Estonia actually has two local groups, one in Tallinn and the other in Tartu.

Understanding and evaluating EA's cause prioritisation methodology

Do you think there's more useful research to be done on this topic? Are there any specific questions you think researchers haven't yet answered sufficiently? What are the gaps in the EA literature on this?

Keeping everyone motivated: a case for effective careers outside of the highest impact EA organizations

It actually might be more complicated than what you say here, alexherwix. If a research analyst role at the Open Philanthropy Project receives 800+ job applications, then you might reasonably think that it's better for you to continue building a local community even if you were a great candidate for that option.

In addition, for the reasons that you mention, every possible local community builder might be constantly looking for new job options in the EA community making someone who doesn't do that a highly promising candidate. Furthermore, being a community builder is actually a surprisingly difficult job.

Another consideration is that preparation and training for a specific job at an EA organization and gaining skills leading a local group might be quite different. It might suit you more to do tasks related to community building in a local context.

Keeping everyone motivated: a case for effective careers outside of the highest impact EA organizations

This is slightly relevant, in a recent 80,000 Hours' blog post they suggest the following for people applying for EA jobs:

We generally encourage people to take an optimistic attitude to their job search and apply for roles they don’t expect to get. Four reasons for this are that, i) the upside of getting hired is typically many times larger than the cost of a job application process itself, ii) many people systematically underestimate themselves, iii) there’s a lot of randomness in these processes, which gives you a chance even if you’re not truly the top candidate, and iv) the best way to get good at job applications is to go through a lot of them.
Strategy-development for EA groups: Lessons learned from EA Denmark

You can decide it by asking who wants to be the leader of a particular activity (the way that your group did) as well as inquire what resources and capital people have available to successfully lead that activity. Sometimes people have the motivation to lead activities, but they don't actually have the necessary resources to do it successfully yet.

Agreed on the failure-mode thinking. I guess if you only take the best-case scenario into consideration, then you forget to assess the risks involved. On the other hand, I'm not sure it should be included in this initial brainstorming session or later when a possible activity is selected as a top candidate.

Strategy-development for EA groups: Lessons learned from EA Denmark

So here are some of the main takeaways from this for me:

  • Involve the main volunteers/group members in the strategy development process.
  • Use the strategy template made available by CEA.
  • Share EA Denmark's list of project ideas with other community builders.

We recently had a several-hour strategy meeting. I can attest to that when community members participate in the task of developing a strategy they understand better what's going on and they feel more motivated as they are actually responsible for the vision now. And they can come up with wonderful ideas that you hadn't thought of!

We have also used a simple three-dimension thinking tool for deciding what projects/activities to focus on. Every participant scores activities on some scale according to how many resources the activity requires, what's the best outcome that it can result in, and how high is the personal fit of the leader for a particular activity.




Latest EA Updates for July 2019

Great overview as always. I think Open Philanthropy Project's Funding for Study and Training Related to AI Policy Careers should be up here as well:

This program aims to provide flexible support for individuals who want to pursue or explore careers in AI policy1 (in industry, government, think tanks, or academia) for the purpose of positively impacting eventual societal outcomes from “transformative AI,” by which we mean potential future AI that precipitates a transition at least as significant as the industrial revolution ...
How Europe might matter for AI governance

I think this accusation is uncalled for. There is more statistics in the report and I linked to it, including things like citation impact. But a comprehensive overview of European AI research is, of course, very welcome.

How Europe might matter for AI governance

For what it's worth, according to Artificial Intelligence Index published in 2018:

Europe has consistently been the largest publisher of AI papers — 28% of AI papers on Scopus in 2017 originated in Europe. Meanwhile, the number of papers published in China increased 150% between 2007 and 2017. This is despite the spike and drop in Chinese papers around 2008.

(I'd post the graphs here, but I don't think images can be inserted into comments.)

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