Robert_Praas

ML student
Pursuing a graduate degree (e.g. Master's)
79Joined Oct 2020

Bio

Participation
5

Master thesis intern at MedUni Vienna, working on Chain-of-Thought reasoning in large language models

Comments
10

Topic Contributions
1

Thanks for encouraging people to write their first post,  I resonate with your words.

As for introducing yourself to the forum, people are encouraged to introduce themselves in the open quarterly threat I believe, see the current one. That might be a cleaner solution than writing lots of small introduction posts.

I believe this opportunities board will help you further: https://ea-internships.pory.app/board

PISE follows the tiered approach (which is the default for any student organization in the Netherlands). There, the board is involved with strategy and day-to-day operations, active members are part of one of the organizing committees that focus on careers/socials/marketing or some other topic, and passive members just join events. 

However, I can definitely relate to the inclusive vs exclusive  issue. When we first had low barriers to entry, some people became active members without reading up too much about EA. Later in the year, conversations were sometimes diluted when some participants had no more EA knowledge than the basics. On the other hand, some of the members that showed the greatest progress over the year, would not have been accepted to PISE in the first place  if there had been a higher barrier to entry.

I encountered both types of participants (the ones that showed up because they had 'not much better to do' and the ones that are not used to committing). My impression was that most participants were ambitious and that they liked a challenge. The effect of the length of the event on potential participants with varying levels of ambition can be a bit ambiguous here. With a longer event it is also more likely that potential participants have other things planned during part of the event. My gut feeling says that making the commitment bigger than a day for an introduction hackathon (without coding) makes it less likely for people show up. 

Great questions! From the 10 hours only 5-6 were spent hacking, which felt as short. Some participants mentioned in the feedback form they would have loved to see a 2-day event, whereas others mentioned that they thought the length to be great. When we marketed the event there were students mentioning they preferred to spend the weekend not doing much or that they thought of themselves as not being ambitious enough. I think this amount of time balanced well the quality of the event, the entry barrier for participants (time commitment), the costs of venue and food & the ask from volunteers. Next time we could do a networking & briefing session the evening before the hackathon (perhaps online if necessary?), in that way we can add some hacking time during the day itself.

Thank you for writing this up! Some thoughts:

  • The biggest differences between the impact of CBs might also depend on :
    • the area they are in and the potential of their member base (Bay Area vs regular city group vs small city group)
    • How quickly CBs learn what worked for other CBs (I would double down on peer support)
       
  • Community builder roles might not be perceived to be as prestigious as other roles as they might not get as many applications as other roles. The national/city/university context might lead to local citizens being more interested/qualified.

We think so! Those concepts are a bit blurred within PISE, because the organizing team is so big, and most highly committed people in the broader community are at least in some way involved in organizing. Nevertheless, influencing the broader community is a challenge we will keep working on.

Great that you are doing this! 

Here are some questions: 

What do you consider to be the biggest bottlenecks in the EU AI policy space? How do you think that might change in the coming 5-10 years? 

Do you consider the argument that the EU is not an AI superpower to be important for whether the EU can play a major role in governance? (As discussed here)

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