AI Safety Prerequisites Course: Basic abstract representations of computation

by RAISE1 min read13th Mar 20192 comments



Followup to AI Safety Prerequisites Course: Revamp and New Lessons. First post.

These are three new lessons of our online course on math formalizations required for AI safety research:

  • Level 10: Recursive Functions
  • Level 11: Set Theoretic Recursion
  • Level 12: The Equivalence of Different Notions of Computability

With these lessons, the student now should:

  • Understand the basic abstract representations of computation.
  • Know some of what we can expect from computers and also what we can’t expect from them.
  • Know a lot more set theoretic tools like equivalence relations and orderings.
  • Have seen the construction of the natural numbers from the perspective of set theory.
  • Know about mathematical induction, and have used it!
  • Know about recursion, and have used it!

If you study using our course, please give us feedback. Leave a comment here or email us at, or through the contact form. Do you have an idea about what prerequisites are most important for AI Safety research? Do you know an optimal way to learn them? Tell us using the same methods or collaborate with us.

Can you check if a mathematical proof is correct? Do you know how to make proofs understandable and easy to remember? Would you like to help to create the prerequisites course? If yes, consider volunteering.