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Thanks! I think I was having the impression that the Gates Foundation was struggling to give out money (e.g. this comment from a long time ago), but I'm now learning that that's probably no longer true - they set a goal of $9 billion by 2026 and they're already having a budget of $8.6 billion this year. Now it makes sense.

Thanks for the link! I vaguely remember reading this but probably didn't really get an answer that I was hoping for. In the case of AMF, reason 1 doesn't apply, because they seem to want the money to do things now instead of building reserves. Reason 4 seems most relevant - maybe the Gates Foundation is hoping that a Malaria vaccine (which recent developments have shown positive results) could render bed nets futile? But I don't think I buy this either - considering how effective these vaccines currently are, how long it takes to roll out vaccines in these countries, and that Bill Gates himself has previously vouched for bed nets (albeit before the vaccines were endorsed by WHO). As for reasons 2, 3, and 5, I just don't really see how these reasons are worth killing so many babies for - I can't picture a decision maker in the Foundation saying "yeah we have decided to let a hundred thousand people die of Malaria so that we can diversify our risks and encourage others to donate". 

I may be missing something, but I only see a few reasonable scenarios:

  1. The Gates Foundation does indeed plan to donate, and they might be the 'donor of last resort'
  2. They really do not intend to fill the funding gap, perhaps because they don't think additional funding to AMF is as cost-effective as advertised
  3. They are confident that AMF will somehow get funding from other sources
Answer by zeshen6

I'd be interested to understand why there are still huge shortfalls in the supposedly top effective charities.

For example, AMF has a funding gap of $300 milion. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of $67 billion, which of course they intend to donate away. Bill Gates also endorses GiveWell, and has an explicit focus on solving Malaria (it also lists 20 organizations that they partner with, but AMF is not one of it).

So why isn't the AMF funding gap plugged yet, by the Gates foundation, or anyone else? As for the Foundation, is it a matter of grant evaluation process? Is there anything else relevant I should know to better understand the whole funding landscape of these issues?

To achieve AGI we will need to program the following:  

  • knowledge creating processes
  • emotions
  • creativity
  • free will
  • consciousness.

I suspect a large part of the crux is the definition of AGI itself. I don't know many people who think that an agent / system must fulfill all of the above criteria to qualify as 'AGI'. I personally use the term AGI to refer to systems that have at least human-level capabilities at all tasks that a human is capable of performing, regardless of whether the system posses other properties like consciousness and free will. 

On a separate matter, I think it might be a good idea if there is a dual voting system for posts, just like comments, where people can upvote/downvote and also agree/disagree vote. This is a post that I would upvote but strong disagree on. In the meantime I gave it an upvote anyway, since I like posts that at least attempt to constructively challenge prevailing worldviews, and also to balance out all the downvotes. 

I just browsed through it, their reasons for not doing so is also described in a section in the report. 

I think it'll be great if this post is also on GiveDirectly's website, perhaps under the blogs section?

Crossposting plex's comment from LessWrong:


  1. Have been continually adding to this, up to 49 online communities.
  2. Added a student groups section, with 12 entries and some extra fields (website, contact, calendar, mailing list), based on the AGISF list (in talks with the maintainer to set up painless syncing between the two systems).
  3. Made a form where you can easily add entries.

Still getting consistent traffic, happy to see it getting used :)

Answer by zeshen2

Great questions. 
On question 4, I don't personally know of any groups based in Asia, but feel free to check out this database of AI Safety relevant communities, and join any of them. 

Would you recommend Probability Theory: The Logic of Science to people with little math background?

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