I'm about to begin doctoral studies in multiagent RL as applied to crowd simulation, but somewhere on the horizon, I see myself working on AI Safety-related topics. (I find the Value Alignment problem to be of particular interest)

Now, I'm asking myself the question - if my PhD is in a roughly related area of AI, but not really closely compatible with AI Safety, does that make anything more difficult further down the line? Or is it still perfectly fine?

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Hi Ariel—I'm not sure if I'm the best person to weigh in on this, since I opted to go straight to OpenAI after completing my undergrad rather than pursue a PhD (and am now at MIRI), but I'm happy to schedule a time to talk to you if you'd be interested. I've also written a couple of different posts on possible concrete ML experiments relevant to AI safety that I think might be exciting for somebody in your position to work on if you'd be interested in chatting about any of those.