I don't really see how blockchain is relevant to your stated motivations. If AGI makes humanity extinct, blockchain giving "power to the people" is irrelevant. And if your highest preference is remote work, then you simply need to survey which type of job is more likely to allow you to work remotely.
(Tangentially, I don't see how blockchain privileges people over e.g. state actors, considering that governments can use cryptocurrency just as well. Also, a government can take away your cryptocurrency trivially by keeping you in prison until you provide the private key to your wallet.)
Given that you don't think you can make any difference in AI safety... seems to me that you should apply to both machine learning and blockchain jobs, insist on 100% remote work, and choose the one that accepts you and offers the highest salary. (Then, you can donate some amount to an organization that you believe has a highest chance to make an actual difference in AI safety.)
tl;dr - follow your preferences
Hello LessWrong crew,
I am familiar with the ideas of Effective Altruism as I have read the 80,000 Hours career guide. I think it is a great guide and it definitely put a new perspective on the way I view my career.
A bit of my background:
I have a master's degree in computer science. I am currently working remotely as a machine learning engineer.
Here is a list of the things that I am looking for in my career, ordered from most important to least important:
Maybe I'm not the paragon of Effective Altruism values, but if I'm being honest, I value remote work and high salary more than impact. Impact has the 3rd place, but it is still a factor.
Now onto my question:
A few years ago I read Superintelligence and got scared that AGI might make humanity go extinct. I then started focusing on machine learning and after graduating I ended up as a machine learning engineer, where I'm working currently.
Recently, however, I began questioning whether what I was doing is the right thing to do impact-wise. I believe blockchain to be a great technology as well (even though we are in a bubble right now). Fundamentally, I think blockchain is going to bring "power to the people" and I think that's great. It's got it weaknesses now, sure, but over time I think they'll get ironed out.
Here are my top three reasons why I think I should switch to blockchain:
Fundamentally, the only reason I'm interested in AI is because of AGI safety. And right now I'm not sure that AGI safety is a real existential threat and even if it is, given my remote work preferences I will probably have low to no impact on AGI safety. Blockchain, on the other hand, is already changing and will most likely continue to change the way we use the internet and is much more remote friendly.
What are your 2 cents? I'd like to bounce off perspectives off of others to see if I'm missing anything in my train of thought.
P.S. I cross-posted this on Effective Altruism forums to get multiple perspectives.