Those who wish to volunteer some of their time toward reducing existential risk and increasing our chances of a positive singularity can follow the directions on

And as a freshly hired Singularity Institute researcher, I also have my own list of tasks that, if completed by volunteers instead of myself, will speed along the delivery of the projects I'm working on: an 'FAI Open Problems' document, two papers bound for peer review, metaethics research, and more.

So if you'd like to help me out with any of my volunteer-doable tasks, please contact me: luke [at] singinst [dot] org.


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I think if you posted your personal list of tasks here instead of asking people to e-mail you first, you would have an easier time getting people to help. People might think "oh, I don't want to embarass myself / waste lukeprog's time by e-mailing him if there's a chance I wouldn't get around doing those things". Yet if they knew what your tasks were, they might find that they could quite easily do some of them.

My thought is that requiring potential volunteers to email me will filter out those least likely to actually do something. Also, I want to be able to coordinate who is working on what so that uselessly duplicate work isn't being done.

Can't you filter the volunteers by first posting the list, then requiring that the people who want to work on any of the things mentioned e-mail you? My intuition would be that your current method filters out a disproportionate amount of people who would actually do things.

Actually, the single most valuable thing that anyone could do to boost my research productivity right now would be to email me [] the username and password they use to download behind-paywall papers from home via their university's proxy server. Somebody did this for me earlier but their account expired a few days ago (they had already graduated), and now the pace of my research is significantly hampered as a result.

Well, you have mine for what it's worth. (I'm afraid I don't really know much about the mechanics of database access- do you need to know the university name, or what?)

Edit: If anyone out there is in a good university with access to a lot of science databases, don't hold off on my account.

Yeah, thanks, your access is much better than nothing!

Is anyone at a major university feeling generous?

Glad you've got a site where volunteers can go now!

I'm surprised by this, and happy to see this initiative and webpage.

I'm also a bit shocked. This post has shaken me up enough to get over my akrasia and write a post on volunteer-open-source/research/science project management.

I recommend that you find some way to hide away the flash mob mailing list- it's an idea that seems almost guaranteed to go wrong, given how easy it would be for somebody to stumble across it and scream conspiracy. It has the potential to discredit independently popular productions of the SI.

One way to do so would be to request that people send you an initial email indicating their interest, and only then send them the specific details/mailing lists.

ETA: Also, is there any particular reason the matching gifts idea is listed as an "Advanced Opportunity" instead of as the very first thing a potential volunteer should do? This strikes me as essentially throwing away money, since you say several times that people should have spent at least a few hours volunteering before they start on the advanced opportunities.

is there no software that can help speed along video transcription?