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"Acquisition of Chess Knowledge in AlphaZero": probing AZ over time

Although the technical details are way to difficult for me, as a chess player I found the article really interesting. 
When it was first release, AlphaZero seemed to play more human-like than traditional engine such as Stockfish. Do your analysis support this conclusion ?

What would we do if alignment were futile?

If you are really convinced that 
1) AGI is coming really fast.
2) Work on alignment has basically no chances to break through in time.
3) Un aligned AGI result in quick and complete annihilation for humankind
4) You firmly believe in a utilitarism/consequentialism. 
which seems to me to be Eliezer's model,
then you should focus your efforts to launch an all out nuclear war between the USA and China, which would be very unlikely to destroy humanity.
You could even move MIRI to New-Zealand or something so that work on alignment can continue after the nuclear blast.

What if we should use more energy, not less?

"The decline in energy use per capita started in the 70s and largely coincides with the spread of the counter-cultures of the 60s, including the green movement. Of course, not all regulations are bad or unnecessary, but it's not very clear that strict regulation actually makes us much safer and healthier overall, and in fact, the opposite may be true:"


Or maybe, you know, there happened to be an oil crisis in 1973 when oil prices increased by 400%, and energy usage per capita has declined ever since because energy went from super cheap to increasingly expensive ?

Just take out coal/oil and a stable technological level seems possible. Also I'm not sure those stable fantasy worlds really exists in literature, most examples I can think of have (sometimes magical) technological growth or decline.

Tolkien Middle Earth is very young - a few thousands years. This means no coal, no oil, and no possibility of an industrial revolution. Technology would still slowly progress to 18th century level but I can see it happening slow enough to make the state of technology we see in the LOTR acceptable. On the other hand magical technology is declining because the elves magical power is slowly declining (both in quality and quantity) as they leave Middle Earth. 

Sanderson's Rocharch's civilisation is wiped regularly by an all out war between good and evil, regularly resetting technology to bronze age level. Then (for some reasons) no war happen for 3000 years and during this time we see a steady progress in magical technology (althoug Sanderson inability to write in anything else than close third means an unlikely amount of technological progress just happens wherever the heroes are).
Also I'm pretty sure the environmental conditions in Rocharch do not allow oil and coal to form so once again no industrial revolution is possible.

How do you learn to take more beautiful pictures with a camera?

I'd say that the first step is to work on composition/subjects. 

Professional have better materiel and skills, and there is also a lot of work editing the pictures, but if your subject is not interesting and your composition is boring the pictures will be bad no matter what. 

Look at pictures or paintings* that you like and try to understand how the different objects are placed - the strength lines they form, where they are in the picture...

When you take a photo of a foreground subject (like a person, an animal), try to have a nice background (and to wait patiently until any unwanted tourist has left the field !). Don't put your subject in the center, but try to put it at one third on the left or the right - unless you want to emphasis symmetries or stability. Have horizontal lines to give a feeling of stability, vertical/diagonal lines to give dynamism, and put your subject at the intersection of your main lines to direct the eye to it. 

Also an easy improvement is light : forget about pictures inside, they are almost always bad. Don't use a flash, artificial light is hard to use well. The sun is your best friend, but you should always try to have it in your back when you take a picture - that way the subject is well lighted and you avoid being against the light. Sunset light makes any crappy photo looks good.
Similarly, great color contrast helps a lot, but it is very hard to take a good picture when the subject and the background have similar colors.

*I'm not that much into still-life but I think they are great to look at compositions.

I wanted to interview Eliezer Yudkowsky but he's busy so I simulated him instead

I'm putting this here rather than in the collapsed thread, but I really think the initial post (before the edit) was at the very least careless. There is a widespread habit in tech publications, especially in IA, to pretend results are better than what they actually are - I would hope that Lesswrong, with its commitment to truth-seeking and distrust of medias, would do better...

So, the edit says "However the Yudkowsky lines were also cherry picked. I ran several iterations, sometimes modifying my prompts, until I got good responses.". So, how were they cherry-picked exactly ? Did you take the best one out of 2 ? Out of 10 ? Out of 100 ? Did you picked half an answer, then completed with half an answer from an other prompt ? How bad were the rejected answers ?

I don't see the answer that eventually made it to the article in the answers to prompt 2 in your comment with the un-curated answers. How was it obtained ?

Without this kind of information, it is just impossible to evaluate how good GPT-3 is at what it does (it is good certainly, but how good ?).


The Myth of the Myth of the Lone Genius

I had a look at my copy of Simon Singh's "Fermat's last theorem" (amazing book by the way) and three things are pretty clear :

  1. Wiles' proof makes extensive use of papers published in the years 1986-1993 while he was working on his proof, so he was certainly not isolated during this time.

  2. he was unable to find the error in his proof, and had help from Taylor to correct the error.

So if he had not been so obsessed with "being the one to prove Fermat's last theorem", the proof would have been finished a couple years sooner.

So yeah, the lonely genius is a myth and a dangerous one. Long live the collaborative genius who works with his fellow geniuses !

The Myth of the Myth of the Lone Genius

Perelman had ethical objections to scientific prizes, but during his productive period he was not particularly solitary and was involved in the normal academic live - although he was on the lower end of academic interaction.

The Myth of the Myth of the Lone Genius

Ramanujan and Galois are textbook exemples of mathematicians who would have had a much bigger impact if they had not been as isolated. (And Ramanujan most productive period was when he was working with Hardy and Littlewood).

Also, Erdos.

Re: Competent Elites

Also coming up with a clever idea is much more difficult than evaluating if a clever idea is good. For example It's hard to find a proof for a theorem, but easy to check if a proof is correct. Likewise you can evaluate someone's intelligence even if he is way more intelligent than you.

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