Road to AI Safety Excellence (RAISE), previously named AASAA, was an initiative from
u/toonalfrink/ to improve the pipeline for AI safety researchers, especially by creating an online course. See the Post-Mortem.
This page is deprecated, and it will no longer be updated (unless an independent party decides to). See the updated page at http://aisafety.camp/about/
Required technical understanding: superficial. Minimum commitment:
2 full days per week
Minimum commitment: none
Instructional design There are many ways to get an idea across. There are documentaries, lectures, stories, texts, examples, proofs, assignments, etc. Different ideas need different media. It is hard to explain a math formula through a documentary, for example. On the other hand, if you want to explain some philosophical idea like value misalignment, a made-up story like the paperclip maximizer would be a good fit. You decide the layout of a course unit. Ideally, there will be small juicy bits of information/questions/thingies in quick succession. A great example of a good course design is Google's deep learning course. Notice how most bits are only a few minutes long, and the student is prompted to think all the time. The course design done so far can be found here
Required technical understanding:
moderate. Minimum commitment: 1 full day per week
Giving lectures You thoroughly study the material, making sure you know it well enough to explain it clearly. Together with the
instructional designer, you sit down and go over the bits that need explanation. These bits may range from 10 seconds to an hour of speaking, and they are interleaved with questions and small assignments to keep the student engaged. Then you teach the bits to a small class of testers, on camera. Testers will give immediate feedback: a few repeats may be necessary to get it right.
Required technical understanding: thorough. Minimum commitment: 1 full day per week
Writing material You write both assignments and text-based explanations, according to the request of the instructional designer. To what extent this is needed depends on the nature of the concept that is being covered.
Required technical understanding:
thorough. Minimum commitment: 2 hours to 1 full day per week Taking care of hosting We will host the course ourselves during development. Edx is open source and ideally suited for our needs. We have it set up using Amazon's EC2 hosting service. I am not even a linux noob (6 years of casual use), but this took me a full weekend to set up. If you have system administration skills, you help is highly valuable here.
1 hour per week Graphic design/animation Good animation can make a course twice as polished and engaging, and this matters twice as much as you think. The whole point of a course instead of a loose collection of papers is that learners can trust they're on the right track. Virtue signaling builds that trust. Animation is also a skill that is impossible to pick up in a short enough timeframe. If you're interested in AI safety and skilled at animation, we really need you!
Now volunteers and capital are largely in place, we are doing an iterative development process with the first unit on corrigibility. When we are satisfied with the quality of this
unit (which will probably take 1 or 2 more lecture meetings), we will use the process we developed to create the other units. Lecture meetings Every few weeks, a lecture meeting is held. A lecture room is set up with testers, lecturer and camera. By then, the instructional designer will have broken down the content into bits that are as small as possible. Best would be bits that can be explained in 3 to 6 minutes. For each bit, the lecturer explains it, and right after, the testers indicate how clear it was. If it wasn't clear enough, we repeat. At the first meeting it became apparant that repeating at least once is always a good idea, for the second try is always higher quality. Levels of understanding for the testers: 5. I would be comfortable explaining this in front of a class 4. I would be comfortable explaining this to a friend 3. I get the gist of it, but I would like to stare at this a bit longer 2. I have a superficial sense of what you probably mean 1. Wtf? The goal is to get everyone to at least level 3 from the lecture alone, and to at least level 4 when assignments are included.
- There are
'overview' and 'assignments' meetings.
'overview' meeting asks it's attendants to summarize a resource that
given to them. Then it asks every attendant to read every summary (or a subset of them). Then attendants are asked to construct a mind map (tree structure) of the subject. Then attendants are paired up to cross-check their mind map with someone else and make amendments where they see fit.
mind maps and summaries that are produced during the 'overview' meeting are used as an input to the lecture meetings. - The set of lecture bits produced at the lecture meeting are used as an input to the assignment meeting.