Please advise the Singularity Institute with your domain-specific expertise!

The Singularity Institute would benefit from having a team of domain-specific advisors on hand. If you'd like to help the Singularity Institute pursue its mission more efficiently, please sign up to be a Singularity Institute advisor!

If you sign up, we will occasionally ask you questions. You may be able to answer our questions or at least point us in the right direction. We may also request to schedule a quick chat with you.

Domains of expertise we especially need:

  • Nearly all subfields of economics, maths, computer science & AI, statistics, cognitive science, physics, biology, and naturalistic philosophy.
  • U.S. & California law
  • Non-profit development and tax compliance
  • Marketing & social media
  • U.S. government and military processes (lobbying, security, infrastructure, etc.)
  • Computer security
  • Large-scale logistics
  • Event planning
  • Executive coaching/training
  • Motivational speaking, social skills training
  • Publishing
  • Running workshops and meetups
  • Nuclear security, bio-security, disease control

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Given that there's always more to learn about pretty much everything, this list didn't bother me at all. I would have been much more alarmed if they asked for expert advice on:

  • Money laundering
  • Disposing of corpses in ways undetectable by law enforcement
  • Justin Bieber trivia
  • Obtaining visas or (better) passports to nations with no U.S. extradition treaty

"I can't believe what a bunch of nerds we are. We're looking up 'money laundering' in a dictionary. "

Cheers to Armok and Costanza =) Laughs aside, I think picking out awesome people from LW circles (recent example: Gwern Branwen) and just allowing them to do their awesome things is one of the more right strategies that SingInst has adopted. Keep on doing that, Luke.


Marketing & social media

While I applaud the effort, I suspect that simply hiring a professional or otherwise reaching outside of current LW readership would be more effective.

Perhaps a professional who was unaware of SIAI's need will announce themselves. No harm in asking.

I give out statistics-related opinions all the time which don't seem to be especially well received. But, if it means anything, I have been admitted to one of the top 4 statistics Ph. D programs, and plan to start my doctoral studies next fall. I'll sign up.

Nuclear security, bio-security, disease control

I love the way that's casually thrown in as the last item on the list.

Could we get a generic "we won't use this contact information for anything other than what it was offered for" statement?

How what level of expertise do you require? Also if we have significant expertise in an area that isn't listed and doesn't seem relevant should we go ahead and list it anyways? For example I'm finishing up a bachelors in psychology and know a lot about LARPing would that sort of thing merit an application?

In general, please apply and list the sources of your expertise and we'll figure out who will be useful for us. Thanks!

You really should break down biology into something more specific about what you want. Biology is incredibly broad, covering everything from taxonomy to genetics to biochemistry. I'm in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and I could probably speak with confidence on some areas, but not others. My strongest point would be biochemistry, but I can't see why SI would need most of my BCMB knowledge. But if you do, you're more than welcome to contact me. And since most people on here probably aren't as well versed in general biology, I'm willing to at least try to answer any questions in the broad field that you have.

... Well that list sure is calming. No reason to worry or freak out about those experts being needed. Nope.

What? The only thing even slightly worrying would be nuclear security, bio-security, and disease control, but we know why they want those experts.

Other than that there are some parallels to AI boxing, no, I don't know why they need those.

Also, the law and military processes. Computer security can also be seen as threatening even if the use is obvious.

But yea, mostly I were joking.

Other than that there are some parallels to AI boxing, no, I don't know why they need those.

Oh, sorry for being excessively brief then. SingInst would want to know how likely various form of existential risk are so they know how likely it is that humanity will survive for X years without FAI. There are various trade-offs that would need to be made differently depending on how urgent things are.

Oh. I though they meant experts of how to ensure (or break....) it, not of how good it is in general worldwide.

That's also possible (to ensure; they don't want to break it). I don't think they can do that much for those problems at the present stage. If they barely have time to publish work on the singularity, it probably isn't a good idea to spend marginal effort on trying to change bio-security policy.

But yea, mostly I were joking.

Why bother? Humor is worth it sometimes, when it is really funny, but when someone tries to be funny and isn't, it's useless at best, most often confusing, and harmful at worst.

Just because YOU didn't find it funny doesn't mean nobody will, and this joke is fairly harmless. It's mainly in saying something that's actually true in a sarcastic way that implies the opposite is being meant, when in fact it isn't.

Harmless in the individual case, but snarkiness really degrades communities over time.

I find it kind of amusing that SIAI, a non-profit organization, is looking for experts on "non-profit development and tax compliance". This implies certain... uncertainties... regarding their current level of tax compliance.

In all seriousness, I once took it for granted that, assuming perfect good faith and honesty on the part of the filer, and assuming perfectly complete and accurate records, there would automatically be one precise and correct figure for the amount of (say) income tax to be filed, at least in theory. Since that time, I have learned that, while arithmetic may be straightforward, within the tax code and even within generally accepted accounting principles, there are always huge areas of ambiguity, even for the average person filing a 1040EZ.

By the same reasoning, obviously SIAI is only asking for computer security experts because they're running their website on PHP3 on XP SP1 with no firewall.

No, wait, that doesn't make sense at all. People often employ experts on whatever to maintain or improve their current level of whatever, not merely because they are grossly deficient in whatever.

By the same reasoning, obviously SIAI is only asking for computer security experts because they're running their website on PHP3 on XP SP1 with no firewall.

Nah, they're just running an AI on a laptop, with no security other than having taken out the fan so it overheats whenever it attempts to download instructions for Anthrax.

But now it managed to break loose and send some weird orders to protein synthesis companies. And there was that long, heartfelt chat with a bunch of high ranking US Army officers. Hence the need for experts on nuclear security, bio-security and disease control.

Speaking from experience: non-profit tax compliance is an inherently uncertain area.
(And, no, I'm not an expert on anything but various ways to not do it.)

No, it doesn't; even if they already had someone doing a good job ensuring tax compliance, it would still be a good idea to solicit further expertise. It just implies that they would like to have as many resources as possible to help them be tax-compliant in the future.

I can help for almost anything computer security related, also public speaking, running workshops, teaching and training.

Are you still looking for people? If so have the requirements changed substantially?