Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions


DeepMind: Generally capable agents emerge from open-ended play

What's the practical difference between "text" and one-hots of said "text"? One-hots are the standard for inputting text into models. It is only recently that we expect models to learn their preferred encoding for raw text (cf. transformers). By taking a small shortcut, the authors of this paper get to show off their agent work without loss of generality: one could still give one-hot instructions to an agent that is learning to act in the real life.

($1000 bounty) How effective are marginal vaccine doses against the covid delta variant?

The last time CM was mentioned on here I looked up his old videos about Fauci. In a video from Sept 2020 he made a very confident claim that NYC had already achieved 70% infections and thereby herd immunity. That turned out to be untrue:

So my prior for him is now skewed toward "pundit" rather than "honest inquirer."

($1000 bounty) How effective are marginal vaccine doses against the covid delta variant?

Immune response is generally associated with age and lifestyle. What can you tell us about those factors?

Covid 7/15: Rates of Change

it means contact tracing becomes easier and lockdowns more effective. 


I read that oppositely. If the serial interval is shorter, contact tracers need to work faster to inform those exposed, lest those exposed become infected and transmitting. Likewise, lockdowns would only become more effective if the time each person is contagious is reduced. IIRC the delta variant, according to Indian accounts, is significantly contagious for three weeks from the date of infection as opposed to the usual two.

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

Re: quarantines for fully vaccinated travellers

The problem a national government has in setting quarantine standards for vaccinated people is that there are so many inconsistencies to vaccines, and the topic is wrapped in geopolitics.

  • Do you exempt (from quarantine) those who claim to have gotten vaccines in countries where vaccine documentation is easy to fake? What about countries where vaccine documentation is nonstandard between regions?
  • How do you (cheaply) verify vaccine documentation from each foreign country / region?
  • Does refusing to exempt people from poorly-documented countries cause a diplomatic incident with those countries?
  • Do you exempt those who have documented vaccines which are not authorized in your country? If so, what are your criteria for accepting vaccines?
  • If not, then the home countries of inelligible vaccines will lodge a diplomatic protest, and maybe accuse you of racism.
  • Or do you only exempt those who got vaccines which are produced in your country? (Chinese-style vaccine nationalism.)
  • Do you exempt those who got vaccines which are authorized in your country, but are coming from countries where immunity-escaping strains are common?
  • Do you exempt those who got the vaccine, but are in a demographic likely to have poor immune response?
  • If you exempt people with vaccine immunity, do you exempt people with positive COVID antibody tests?
  • If you exempt people with antibody tests, which tests do you exempt? See all the previous questions about reliability of documentation again...

The cost to administration of such an exemption program is high, the social, political, and medical perils are many, and there is the chance of quarantine escape in >5% of cases. Vaccine exemption from national quarantine is unlikely.