I interviewed Divia Eden for 2.5 hours about operant conditioning on my side podcast, The Filan Cabinet. I think it's both an interesting conversation in its own right, as well as being kinda related to human rationality as well as AI and AI alignment. (I should also say I like the rest of the podcast - I expect the Carrick Flynn interview to be the most interesting to this crowd, but there are a few others I think are cool). Below is the copy I wrote for the episode.

In this episode, I speak with Divia Eden about operant conditioning, and how relevant it is to human and non-human animal behaviour. Topics we cover include:

  • How close are we to teaching grammar to dogs?
  • What are the important differences between human and dog cognition?
  • How important are unmodelled "trainer effects" in dog training?
  • Why do people underrate positive reinforcement?
  • How does operant conditioning relate to attachment theory?
  • How much does successful dog training rely on the trainer being reinforced by the dog?
  • Why is game theory so fake?
  • Is everything really just about calmness?
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