Filipe Marchesini


Expansive translations: considerations and possibilities

For me the idea of expansive translations is fantastic. Every time I read a new post in Lesswrong that brings important information to the table, I think about translating it into Portuguese and bringing the information to the members of my tribe. But obviously I don't think about translating literally, word for word, because I can see the loss of information that this would bring. I know exactly how I could write in Portuguese that would bring the sensations desired by the original author of the post, considering all the cultural nuances and inferential distances. When you really know more than one language you can see why and when it is a bad idea to translate literally.

So how could we improve an expansive translation system? Suppose I took this post from Lesswrong and translated it into Portuguese. Then I would post the translation of the post in a software or expansive translation platform for arbitrary sites. Our new expansive-translations dot com, ou our new chrome extension.

Translators in the platform could give a score (from 0 to 10) of how good that translation looked for different translation formats: translation for children, translation for people with little or no math background, literal translations, focused translations for people with visual, auditory weaknesses, etc. Also people who would come into contact with those translations could give a grade of how easy it was to understand the subject matter.

Thus, we could create a market for expansive translations focused on people of different styles. For example, the system could consider that translations by people with similar mathematical/computational background to mine would probably please me more than expansive translations focused on a lay audience. Obviously this would depend on the type of subject matter, because I am a complete layman when it comes to various subjects, but in general the similarities of my profile with the translator's profile could be a proxy for me to find good expansive translations. Also, the score I assign for each expansive translation can be used to understand what kind of expansive translation fits me more.

It would be interesting if I could even select an expansive translation of each category. Today I want to explain what bitcoin is to my grandmother, what would be the best way to do that? Surely expert translators for this kind of audience would know how to do it much better than me. I would select a specific category and see several expansive translations sorted by relevance (a metric that considered inferential distances, similar characteristics between the one who wrote and the one who reads, etc).

Each person reading an expansive translation could also assign a score to the post. I can imagine the many problems that such platforms could introduce, but having a diversity of expansive translations would help a lot and I would certainly use it often. For example, a market I would certainly pay to be part of is one of expansive translations of scientific articles. By hovering the mouse over a paragraph of an article a pop-up could appear indicating that there were 8 translators with 8 different expansive translations for the same paragraph. I could click on a (+) and then select the expansive translations I would like to read.

Certainly each translator can elaborate the ideas of that paragraph in different styles, considering differential inferential distances from the reader, etc. Suppose I read three expansive translations among the eight. I could select which one pleased me the most. Then we would use machine learning to train a system that could predict what kind of expansive translation I would identify myself with the most in a set of expansive translations.

Maybe we could still do optional microtransactions for those good expansive translators. E.g., I select the best expansive translation and pay a few cents or microcents, as simple as a like button in the corner of each expansive translation. This way we could ensure benefits and incentives for expansive translators to produce the best translations as they could be rewarded in status and financially for anyone.

I can see a lot of ways in which we could monetize this system, so we could get more money to put on research and improve the system even more. Rewarding directly good translators is an idea to ensure that we don't lose the best candidates. I will stop my babble here, but there are lot more I can talk about this topic. Very interesting this topic, ozziegooen. Also, I believe I could program this system myself. But let me know what you think.

Collection of GPT-3 results

Did you pay the premium version? I am using the free version and I am not sure if the free version is GPT-2 or GPT-3.

Calibrate words, not just probabilities

Most babble that seems to be "predictions" are actually not predictions and, as pointed by Ericf, they do not reflect the internal confidence of the speaker. Sometimes I hear "I am completely sure my favorite team is going to win the championship", although it is clear that this is not a prediction made by the person, it is his way of saying "I really would like this outcome to happen and that's my way of signal this".

"He is not going to die" doesn't mean "I predict with 90% confidence that he is not going to die" but rather "I wouldn't like him to die, and even though the unknown real probability may be high, just accepting this may create this reality, so I will say he is not going to die and reality will follow my words, and that's the power of words, as god said on the bible".

I really see a lot of people talking about "the power of words", so they don't try to truly have accurate beliefs that predict accurately the results on some timestamps, but just uttering the words "may alter reality in a way that they don't like", so they just pretend to be high confident on some possible good outcomes because, well, "I am absolutely sure coronavirus will not be that bad", but hey, "although it was very bad, I am sure everything is going to be fine". Hey, I am sure we will handle the situation and that there will still be some beds on the hospital for people. Why these fucking words don't work? Your partner says: don't give up, I am sure everything is going to be fine.

After all, if Freddy Forecaster says "70% probability" for events that happen only 60% of the time, I know to correct, in mind, Freddy's forecast- when he says 70%, I know to anticipate that it will actually happen only 60% of the time, and would bet accordingly. So if Peter Pundit says something "certainly" will happen 100 times, and we see 55 of these events actually happen, the next time he says something "certainly" will happen, I would be willing to bet based on his words suggesting a 55% probability.

I agree with you that we should try our best to give our best estimates, and also say our confidence in our estimates, while also creating our historic record of predictions for everyone to calibrate their confidence in our statements. But, for real, every time I see a new pundit, probably this will be the first and also the last time we will be hearing about him. It is hard to have any history of his predictions. It will be very hard to find 100 predictions registered on a platform, and count how many he got it right. And even if such a platform existed with all historic predictions, that also could be gamified in a certain way, e.g, it is easy to predict that the sun will come up tomorrow, and I will win everytime I bet on this. After winning 100/100, I try to predict the price of Tesla shares on the next day. Well, even if you used my history of random easy predictions to calibrate your confidence on my hard predictions, that wouldn't help. Idk, for me it is just ABSOLUTELY hard to calibrate my confidence on the pundits' statements even if he had put "70%" on the middle of the sentence. Probably he doesn't even know what he is talking about. And probably we won't ever have any opportunity to make him to pay rent in anticipated experiences, nor to check any previous hard predictions.

April Fools: Announcing LessWrong 3.0 – Now in VR!

Very interesting. When I stopped teaching in person due to pandemics, I started to research the best platform to teach online. When I saw this post comparing the options, and then looked YouTube videos using each one, I became absolutely religious after testing Mozilla Hubs, and started shouting out for all directions that this thing is completely awesome and I was all in. Today, I use this platform every week. The students love it! And now I discovered LessWrong is using it too. It couldn't be different.

Null-boxing Newcomb’s Problem




The statue became motionless again. Maxwell donates the prize to the priests who promised him salvation, for they had always been right.

What problem would you like to see Reinforcement Learning applied to?

Problem: Automatic planting

Action space: the agent obtains data from the sensors and decides how to use the actuators (temperature modifiers, humidity, exposure to sunlight/other modifier) to maximize specific crop characteristics

The reward: the agent knows that he is performing better when he minimizes the time needed for the plants to reach specific characteristics. For example, when trying to minimize the time required for three plants to reach a specific height of 0.2m, a higher score would be attributed to the action policy that led the plant to grow faster to (0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15, 0.20)m. Or say a watermelon plantation, the policy of mapping conditions of temperature, humidity (etc) that led to the emergence of the largest watermelon (given a threshold) in the shortest time possible would reward the agent with higher scores.

If it is possible to achieve high efficiency on food production using RL agents that control cheap sensors on a simple wooden box and cheap products (earth, seeds, water), we could mass produce boxes and distribute them with the embedded agent and a few rules to the final user. Users with this system would get enough food that would pay the cost of the system itself. Users could buy more boxes by selling the exceeding food, and they could distribute the boxes with neighbours, providing substantial positive impact on the world.

I really believe we should decentralize food production and it would be easier with low cost systems that automate practically the whole process, and the user would just do easy things. People would get healthier foods, they would spend less money on food (leaving more money to invest in other needs), they would develop less diseases associated with the consumption of high industrialized products or products with high amount of herbicides.

Thoughts as open tabs

One thing I tried was keeping open tabs infinitely, and I would just close them when I had finished the work on them. Sometimes I have 40 tabs opened, and I feel the pressure to "stop opening new tabs and finish those that are already open". And then, I click on them one by one, sometimes realizing that I already did what should be done and closing them. Sometimes, I keep postponing. After a new check, I think there are tabs that don't add too much and I close them.

When you keep your tabs on mind, but not on the browser (e.g. chromium) you'll eventually lose the state of mind that you had. So I would say to you write the thought, even if it is just a summary, so you can't lose what you were thinking. Write it down, and check it later.

Open & Welcome Thread - June 2020

I think you are referring to Goodheart's law, because all the measures your examples used as a proxy to achieve some goal were gamified in a way that the proxy stopped working reliably.

2020 LessWrong Demographics Survey

Exactly, I am from Brazil and I can't see any option that fit my race.

According to Wikipedia, "According to the American census, the Hispanic or Latin category would not include Brazilians or Americans with origins in Brazil, [3] [4] [8] as it is specific to people of "Spanish culture or origin". [3] [4]. Technically speaking, people from Portugal or of Portuguese origin are called Lusitanians. In Portugal, the term "hispanic" refers to something related to ancient Hispania, Spain or the Spanish language and culture [9]. The common modern term for identifying both Portuguese and Spanish cultures under a single nomenclature is "Iberian", and the term referring to cultures derived from both countries in the Americas is "Ibero-American". These designations can be mutually recognized by people in Portugal and Brazil, in contrast to "Hispanic", which is totally devoid of any self-identification in these countries, and quite the contrary, is used to mark a clear distinction in relation to the culture of neighboring Spanish-speaking countries (Hispanics) in relation to Portuguese-speaking countries (Portuguese-speaking)."

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