Soon: a weekly AI Safety prerequisites module on LessWrong

by toonalfrink 1 min read30th Apr 201810 comments


(edit: we have a study group running a week ahead of this series that adds important content. It turns out that to get that content ready on a weekly basis, we would have to cut corners. We prefer quality over speed. We also like predictability. So we decided to cut us some slack and publish every 2 weeks instead for the time being)

Hey there! It's been about 6 weeks since RAISE doubled down on it's mission to make learning AI Safety as convenient as possible.

We've been geared towards STEM majors, but the grand vision was to eventually lay out a learning path that any high-school graduate could take.

So a prerequisites track was on our wish list. Little did we know that such a track had already been constructed, and abandoned, in 2015.

We met it's creators, Erik Istre and Trent Fowler, and we decided to collaborate. There is already at least 20 weeks of content to work with, and they're going to extend it further. Many thanks to them!

For what it's worth: the track was shown to various leading figures in AIS, and the reception has thus far been uniformly positive. To get a sneak peek, register on our platform and have a look at the column called "Prerequisites: Fundamentals of Formalization". The first two levels are already uploaded.

A module will be published every Friday, starting with "level 1: Basic Logic" on May 4th. Let's get some momentum going here! If you complete the track in it's entirety, you should be ready to understand most of the work in AI Safety.

Each module is a set of references to textbooks explaining important topics like Logic, Set theory, Probability and Computability theory. The intention is to 80/20 a bachelor's degree: by covering 20% of the material, you should learn 80% of the relevant concepts. At the end of each module, we made some exercises of our own. Those are made not for practice, but to validate your knowledge. If you think you already know a subject, you can use these to verify it.

All but 2 of the quoted textbooks are available online for free. The other ones will be announced on time. You won't need them before week 3.

We hope that this will help some of you learn AI Safety!

Warm regards,

Toon, Veerle, Johannes, Remmelt, Ofer

The RAISE team

PS: If you'd like to generally stay up to date with RAISE, join our Facebook group or visit our website.