I intend to use my shortform feed for two purposes:
1. To post thoughts that I think are worth sharing that I can then reference in the future in order to explain some belief or opinion I have.
2. To post half-finished thoughts about the math or computer science thing I'm learning at the moment. These might be slightly boring and for that I apologize.
I believe that most existing proposals for aligning AI with human values are unlikely to succeed in the limit of optimization pressure due to Goodhart's curse. I believe this strongly enough that it continues to surprise me a bit that people keep working on things that I think clearly won't work, though I think there are two explanations for this. One is that, unlike me, they expect to approach superhuman AGI slowly and so we will have many opportunities to notice when we are deviating from human values as a result of Goodhart's curse and make corrections. The other is that they... (Read more)
I'm offering $1,000 for good questions to ask of AI Oracles. Good questions are those that are safe and useful: that allows us to get information out of the Oracle without increasing risk.
To enter, put your suggestion in the comments below. The contest ends at the end of the 31st of August, 2019.
A perennial suggestion for a safe AI design is the Oracle AI: an AI confined to a sandbox of some sort, that interacts with the world only by answering questions.
This is, of course, not safe in general; an Oracle AI can influence the world through the contents of its answers, al... (Read more)
In discussions about immigration, there is a crucial aspect about its economic viability that is often left unsaid: Immigrants create their own demand.
When somebody immigrates to a new country, most things about him remain the same. His set of skills stays the same, so do his traditions, norms and culture. But more importantly, since he is still a human being, there is a long list of services and commodities that he demands: groceries, cloths, a home, a barber, entertainment to name a few of them.
Just by entering another country, he does not suddenly become a one-dimensional economic agent who... (Read more)
Response To (SlateStarCodex): Against Against Billionaire Philanthropy
I agree with all the central points in Scott Alexander’s Against Against Billionaire Philanthropy. I find his statements accurate and his arguments convincing. I have quibbles with specific details and criticisms of particular actions.
He and I disagree on much regarding the right ways to be effective, whether or not it is as an altruist. None of that has any bearing on his central points.
We violently agree that it is highly praiseworthy and net good for the world to use one’s resources in attempts to improve the world. And t... (Read more)
I'm mostly going to use this to crosspost links to my blog for less polished thoughts, Musings and Rough Drafts.
Note: I'll be trying not to engage too much with the object level discussion here – I think my marginal time on this topic is better spent thinking and writing longform thoughts. See this comment.
Over the past couple months there was some extended discussion including myself, Habryka, Ruby, Vaniver, Jim Babcock, Zvi, Ben Hoffman, Jessicata and Zack Davis. The discussion has covered many topics, including "what is reasonable to call 'lying'", and "what are the best ways to discuss and/or deal with deceptive patterns in public discourse", "what norms and/or principles should LessWrong aspir... (Read more)
Recently I've noticed a cognitive dissonance in myself, where I can see that my best ideas have come from participating on various mailing lists and forums (such as cypherpunks, extropians, SL4, everything-list, LessWrong and AI Alignment Forum), and I've received a certain amount of recognition as a result, but when someone asks me what I actually do as an "independent researcher", I'm embarrassed to say that I mostly comment on other people's posts, participate in online discussi... (Read more)
We’ll be doing quick rounds where you spend 5 minutes talking to someone else, then rotate. We’ll have a couple of conversational prompts to help out, but it won’t be too structured; the goal is to just get familiar with a lot of individual faces at the meetup group.
For help getting into the building, please call (or text, with a likely-somewhat-slower response rate): 301-458-0764.
We meet and start hanging out at 6:30, but don’t officially start doing the meetup topic until 6:45-7:00 to accommodate stragglers. Usually there is a food order that goes out before we start the meetup topic.... (Read more)
As a kid, I learned the rhyme as:
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe.
If he hollers, let him go,
Out goes Y, O, U!
Since kids can't predict where it will end, and adults are not supposed to try, it's a reasonably fair way of drawing lots.
At times I've heard versions where the selected person wins instead of loses, and while with two kids it doesn't matter, with three or more it matters a lot!
Let's model each kid having a choice at each stage between "accept" and "protest". While protesting probably doesn't work, if enough of you protest it might. If you do the positive ve... (Read more)
Wikipedia has this discussion of working-memory-as-ability-to-discern-relationships-simultaneously:
Other have argued that working memory capacity is better characterized as "the ability to mentally form relations between elements, or to grasp relations in given information. This idea has been advanced by Halford, who illustrated it by our limited ability to understand statistical interactions between variables."
These authors asked people to compare written statements about the relations between several variables to graphs illustrating the same or a different relation, as in the f... (Read more)
In "We Change Our Minds Less Often Than We Think", Eliezer quotes a study:
Over the past few years, we have discreetly approached colleagues faced with a choice between job offers, and asked them to estimate the probability that they will choose one job over another. The average confidence in the predicted choice was a modest 66%, but only 1 of the 24 respondents chose the option to which he or she initially assigned a lower probability, yielding an overall accuracy rate of 96%.
—Dale Griffin and Amos Tversky
Eliezer then notes that this radically changed the way he thought:
When I first... (Read more)
There is no such thing as masculine probability theory or feminine decision theory. In their pure form, the maths probably aren't even human. But the human practice of rationality—the arts associated with, for example, motivating yourself, or compensating factors applied to overcome your own biases—these things can in principle differ from gender to gender, or from person to person.
If you want to explore the community more, I recommend reading the Library, checking recent Curated posts, seeing if there are any meetups in your area, and checking out the Getting Started section of the LessWrong FAQ.
The Open Thread sequence is here.
Since I was a kid, I have built my self-esteem on a feeling of “forthcoming greatness”. Whatever I actually accomplished I never paused to be proud of, and I never sweated the failures either. It was all just a stepping stone to something completely different and undeniably awesome, a “life mission” that will be important and meaningful and finally confer on me the title of #SuccessfulPerson. Until that moment came, I just needed to know that I was growing, progressing, improving, optimizing.