We're (surprisingly) more positive about tackling bio risks: outcomes of a survey

Makes sense. I guess then the question is if the work of everyone except the x-risk focused NGOs helps reduce r x-risk much. I tend to think yes since much of pandemic preparedness also addresses the worst case scenarios. But that seems to be an open question.

We're (surprisingly) more positive about tackling bio risks: outcomes of a survey

Thanks, great analysis! Just registering that I still expect bio risk will be less neglected than in the past. The major consideration for me is institutional funding, due to its scale. Like you say:

We believe that an issue of the magnitude of COVID-19 will likely not be forgotten soon, and that funding for pandemic preparedness will likely be safe for much longer than in the aftermath of previous pandemics. In particular it may persist long enough to become institutionalised and therefore harder to cut.

Aside from future institutional funding, we also have to take the into account the current funding and new experience because they contribute to our cumulative knowledge and preparedness.

The academic contribution to AI safety seems large

Important question, and nicely researched!

A caveat is that some essential subareas of safety may be neglected. This is not a problem when subareas substitute each other: e.g. debate substitutes for amplification so it's okay if one of them is neglected. But there's a problem when subareas complement each other: e.g. alignment complements robustness so we probably need to solve both. See also When causes multiply.

It's ok when a subarea is neglected as long as there's a substitute for it. But so far it seems that some areas are necessary components of AI safety (perhaps both inner and outer alignment are).

Physical theories of consciousness reduce to panpsychism

Kudos btw for writing this. Consciousness is a topic where it can be really hard to make progress and I worry that people aren't posting enough about it for fear of saying something wrong.

Physical theories of consciousness reduce to panpsychism

I agree that physical theories of consciousness are pan psychist if they say that every recurrent net is conscious (or that everything that can be described as GWT is conscious). The main caveats for me are:

Does anyone really claim that every recurrent net is conscious? It seems so implausible. E.g. if I initialize my net with random parameters, it just computes garbage. Or if I have a net with 1 parameter it seems too simple. Or if the number of iterations is 1 (as you say), it's just a trivial case of recurrence. Or if it doesn't do any interesting task, such as prediction...

(Also, most recurrent nets in nature would be gerrymandered. I could imagine there are enough that aren't though, such as potentially your examples).

NB, recurrence doesn't necessarily imply recurrent processing (the term from recurrent processing theory). The 'processing' part could hide a bunch of complexity?

Physical theories of consciousness reduce to panpsychism

I like your description of how complex physical processes like global attention / GWT to simple ones like feedforward nets.

But I don't see how this implies that e.g. GWT reduces to panpsychism. E.g. to describe a recurrent net as a feedforward net you need a ridiculous number of parameters (with the same parameter values in each layer). So that doesn't imply that the universe is full of recurrent nets (even if it were full of feedforward nets which it isn't).

To draw a caricature of your argument as I understand it: It turns out computers can be reduced to logic gates. Therefore, everything is a computer.

Or another caricature: Recurrent nets are a special case of {any arrangement of atoms}. Therefore any arrangement of atoms is an RNN.

edit: missing word

EAF/FRI are now the Center on Long-Term Risk (CLR)

Just as a data point, "eye clear" took off for the conference ICLR so people seem to find the "clear" pronunciation intuitive.

More info on EA Global admissions

Thanks for writing this. I don't have a solution but I'm just registering that I would expect plenty of rejected applicants to feel alienated from the EA community despite this post.

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