A friend observed that fewer people in the effective altruism movement are married than you might expect. I was curious: what are marriage rates like within the EA community? The 2018 EA Survey asked about relationship status, and we can look at how that varies by age:
I'm using "ever married" for people who are currently married or have ever been married, including people who are now divorced, widowed, or separated. Since some of these buckets might be pretty small, let's add sample size information:
The anonymized survey data doesn't have 35-44 data, and the 65+ gro... (Read more)
Most planning around AI risk seems to start from the premise that superintelligence will come from de novo AGI before whole brain emulation becomes possible. I haven't seen any analysis that assumes both uploads-first and the AI FOOM thesis (Edit: apparently I fail at literature searching), a deficiency that I'll try to get a start on correcting in this post.
It is likely possible to use evolutionary algorithms to efficiently modify uploaded brains. If so, uploads would likely be able to set off an intelligence explosion by running evolutionary algorithms on themselves, selecting for something ... (Read more)
Last week we learned there is plausibly a simple, cheap and easy way out of this entire mess. All we have to do is take our Vitamin D. In case it needed to be said, no. We are not taking our Vitamin D. There’s definitely some voices out there pushing it, including the nation’s top podcaster Joe Rogan, but I don’t see any signs of progress.
Instead, as school restarts, the outside gets colder and pandemic fatigue sets in, people’s precautions are proving insufficient to the task. This week showed that we have taken a clear step backwards across the country.
I see three ways for things not to get... (Read more)
Hi all, I've been working on some AI forecasting research and have prepared a draft report on timelines to transformative AI. I would love feedback from this community, so I've made the report viewable in a Google Drive folder here.
With that said, most of my focus so far has been on the high-level structure of the framework, so the particular quantitative estimates are very much in flux and many input parameters aren't pinned down well -- I wrote the bulk of this report before July and have received feedback since then that I haven't fully incorporated yet. I'd prefer ... (Read more)
TLDR: Language translation is a decent first step for written works, but the ideal looks more like an empathetic personal tutor. There’s a lot to do in-between, both in the near term with human labor, and the longer term with Machine Learning.
Epistemic Status: I’m not an experienced researcher in this field. I’ve read a few audiobooks on language and thought about the area, but I’m sure I’m failing to reference many key papers and books. I’m fairly uncertain about all of this, I suggest taking my opinion very lightly (if at all) and... (Read more)
Epistemic Status: I only know as much as anyone else in my reference class (I build ML models, I can grok the GPT papers, and I don't work for OpenAI or a similar lab). But I think my thesis is original.
Related: Gwern on GPT-3
For the last several years, I've gone around saying that I'm worried about transformative AI, an AI capable of making an Industrial Revolution sized impact (the concept is agnostic on whether it has to be AGI or self-improving), because I think we might be one or two cognitive breakthroughs away from building one.
GPT-3 has made me move up my timelines, because it makes me... (Read more)
"It's Not You, it's Me: Detecting Flirting and its Misperception in Speed-Dates" is a fascinating approach to the study of flirtation. It uses a machine learning model to parse speed-dating data and detect whether the participants were flirting. Here's a sci-hub link. I found three key insights in the paper.
First of all, people basically assume that others share their own intentions. If they were flirting, they assume their partner was too. They're quite bad at guessing whether their partner was flirting, but they do a bit better than chance.
Secondly, the machine learning model was about 70% a... (Read more)
I recently decided that some form of strong verificationism is correct - that beliefs that don't constrain expectation are meaningless (with some caveats). After reaching this conclusion, I went back and read EY's posts on the topic, and found that it didn't really address the strong version of the argument. This post consists of two parts - first, the positive case for verificationism, and second, responding to EY's argument against it.
The case fo... (Read more)
Sometimes there's a concept that can be difficult to understand when entangle with everything else that needs to be understood about our physics.
If you isolate that concept in a simpler universe, it makes it easier to explain how the concept works.
What are such examples?
(I feel like I asked a similar question somewhere at some point, but can't find it)
I have heard from several friends I trust that Wirecutter is no longer very reliable since being acquired by the New York Times in 2016, and that their Wirecutter-advised purchases have become pretty mediocre in the last year or two.
I'd be interested in people making some of that case, as answers to this post, including things like talking about purchases they made or basic errors they found in the reviews, as I don't have strong, publicly verifiable evidence on this at the minute.
This is a biased post, I'm writing this with the hope of helping propagate this info if it's true, which I suspect... (Read more)
Cross-posted, as always, from Putanumonit.
I have written many posts in the shape of giving life advice. I hear back from readers who take it and those who refuse it. Either is good — I’m just a guy on the internet, to be consumed as part of a balanced diet of opinions.
But occasionally I hear: who are you to give life advice, your own life is so perfect! This sounds strange at first. If you think I’ve got life figured out, wouldn’t you want my advice? I think what they mean is that I haven’t had to overcome the hardships they have, hostile people and adverse circumstances.
I talk quite ofte... (Read more)
Here are some somewhat unconnected unconfident thoughts on criticism that I’ve been thinking about recently.
A while ago, when I started having one-on-ones with people I was managing, I went into the meetings with a list of questions I was going to ask them. After the meetings, I’d look at my notes and realize that almost all the value of the meeting came from the part where I asked them what the worst parts of their current work situation were and what the biggest mistakes I was making as a manager were.
I started thinking that almost the whole point of meetings like that is to... (Read more)
This is a link post for:
(This is a basic point about utility theory which many will already be familiar with. I draw some non-obvious conclusions which may be of interest to you even if you think you know this from the title -- but the main point is to communicate the basics. I'm posting it to the alignment forum because I've heard misunderstandings of this from some in the AI alignment research community.)
I will first give the basic argument that the utility quantities of different agents aren't directly comparable, and a few important consequences of this. I'll then spend the rest of the post discussing what to do ... (Read more)
So I really appreciate the lessons I've learned from "Rationality", but I wish I had learned them earlier in life. We are now homeschooling my kids, and I want to volunteer to teach my kids plus others who are interested lessons about thinking rationally.
Does anyone have recommendations on how to put together a curriculum which gets at the core ideas of rationality, but is oriented towards young kids? Some criteria:
Children will likely range from 7-11, meaning they should be simple concepts and require very little prior knowledge and only the simplest math.
Lessons should be int... (Read more)
The 4th edition of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach came out this year. While the 3rd edition published in 2009 mentions the Singularity and existential risk, it's notable how much the 4th edition gives the alignment problem front-and-center attention as part of the introductory material (speaking in the authorial voice, not just "I.J. Good (1965) says this, Yudkowsky (2008) says that, Omohundro (2008) says t... (Read more)