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I am not sure I understand. Are you saying that GPT thinks the text is genuinely from the future (i.e., the distribution that it is modeling contains text from the future), or that it doesn't think so? The sentence you quote is intended to mean that it does not think the text is genuinely from the future.

Thanks for your comment!

Regarding 1: I don't think it would be good to simulate superintelligences with our predictive models. Rather, we want to simulate humans to elicit safe capabilities. We talk more about competitiveness of the approach in Section III.

Regarding 3: I agree it might have been good to discuss cyborgism specifically. I think cyborgism is to some degree compatible with careful conditioning. One possible issue when interacting with the model arises when the model is trained on / prompted with its own outputs, or data that has been influenced by its outputs. We write about this in the context of imitative amplification and above when considering factorization:

There are at least two major issues: it increases the probability that the model will predict AIs rather than humans, and it specifically increases the probability the model will predict itself, leading to multiple fixed points and the possibility of self-fulfilling prophecies.

I personally think there might be ways to make such approaches work and get around the issues, e.g., by making sure that the model is myopic and that there is a unique fixed point. But we would lose some of the safety properties of just doing conditioning.

Regarding 2: I agree that it would be good if we can avoid fooling ourselves. One hope would be that in a sufficiently capable model, conditioning would help with generating work that isn't worse than that produced by real humans.

You are right, thanks for the comment! Fixed it now.

I like the idea behind this experiment, but I find it hard to tell from this write-up what is actually going on. I.e., what is exactly the training setup, what is exactly the model, which parts are hard-coded and which parts are learned? Why is it a weirdo janky thing instead of some other standard model or algorithm? It would be good if this was explained more in the post (it is very effortful to try to piece this together by going through the code). Right now I have a hard time making any inferences from the results.

Update: we recently discovered the performative prediction (Perdomo et al., 2020) literature (HT Alex Pan). This is a machine learning setting where we choose a model parameter (e.g., parameters for a neural network) that minimizes expected loss (e.g., classification error). In performative prediction, the distribution over data points can depend on the choice of model parameter. Our setting is thus a special case in which the parameter of interest is a probability distribution, the loss is a scoring function, and data points are discrete outcomes. Most results in this post have analogues in performative prediction. We will give a more detailed comparison in an upcoming paper. We also discuss performative prediction more in our follow-up post on stop-gradients.

I think there should be a space both for in-progress research dumps and for more worked out final research reports on the forum. Maybe it would make sense to have separate categories for them or so.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by a skill-free scoring rule. Can you elaborate what you have in mind?

Thanks for your comment!

Your interpretation sounds right to me. I would add that our result implies that it is impossible to incentivize honest reports in our setting. If you want to incentivize honest reports when is constant, then you have to use a strictly proper scoring rule (this is just the definition of “strictly proper”). But we show for any strictly proper scoring rule that there is a function such that a dishonest prediction is optimal.

Proposition 13 shows that it is possible to “tune” scoring rules to make optimal predictions very close to honest ones (at least in L1-distance).

I think for 'self-fulfilling prophecy' I would also expect there to be a counterfactual element--if I say the sun will rise tomorrow and it rises tomorrow, this isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy because the outcome isn't reliant on expectations about the outcome.

Yes, that is fair. To be faithful to the common usage of the term, one should maybe require at least two possible fixed points (or points that are somehow close to fixed points). The case with a unique fixed point is probably also safer, and worries about “self-fulfilling prophecies” don't apply to the same degree.

I think such a natural progression could also lead to something similar to extinction (in addition to permanently curtailing humanity's potential). E.g., maybe we are currently in a regime where optimizing proxies harder still leads to improvements to the true objective, but this could change once we optimize those proxies even more. The natural progression could follow an inverted U-shape.

E.g., take the marketing example. Maybe we will get superhuman persuasion AIs, but also AIs that protect us from persuasive ads and AIs that can provide honest reviews. It seems unclear whether these things would tend to balance out, or whether e.g. everyone will inevitably be exposed to some persuasion that causes irreparable damage. Of course, things could also work out better than expected, if our ability to keep AIs in check scales better than dangerous capabilities.

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