John_Maxwell's Comments

[Link] COVID-19 causing deadly blood clots in younger people

increase the strength of the infection.

I'd be interested in a link for this.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on AI ethics and superintelligence

Er, transfer learning?

That's why I said "typically", yes. What I meant was that if you choose 2 random tasks that neural networks are used for, most likely a neural net trained for one will not be useful for the other.

Also, even given transfer learning, the principle holds that you can have a neural net which works great for one task and not for another, just by retraining the last layer. That's what I was getting at with the statement "a 2 hour machine learning tutorial beats weeks of philosophizing"--the fact that retraining the last layer dramatically changes performance across tasks demonstrates that "is intelligence unidimensional" is in some sense a wrong question. If you engage with territory then your ontology becomes finer-grained.

Aside from text, image, audio, point clouds, graphs etc., what have the Romans^Wconvolutions and Transformers done for us lately?

With exactly the same set of hyperparameters? Last I checked the optimal hyperparameters usually vary based on the task, but maybe that has changed.

Anyway, it sounds like you've changed the question from "do neural nets show intelligence is unidimensional" to "do convolutions / attention show intelligence is unidimensional [implicitly, within the scope of tasks for which neural nets work the best]". There are some tasks where neural nets aren't the best.

AI techniques seem to be something like a toolbox. There are cases where a tool works well in a wide variety of situations, and cases where one tool appears to almost strictly dominate another tool. And as you imply, even what might appear to be a single tool, such as "neural networks", actually consists of a bunch of smaller tools which get recombined with each other in conventional ways. So far we haven't found a single tool or way of recombining smaller tools which appears to be universally dominant over all the other approaches. Even if we did, the fact that there was no universally dominant approaches at some earlier phases of AI development suggests that a universally dominant tool may not be a permanent state of affairs. My personal guess is that we will discover something which looks a bit like a universally dominant approach around the time we develop transformative AI... but that doesn't change the fact that AI is not a unidimensional thing from a philosophical perspective. (In particular, as I said, I think it will be possible to use the universally dominant approach to excel in particular narrow areas without creating something that looks like the AGI of science fiction.)

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on AI ethics and superintelligence

Most neural networks are trained for a particular task. They are typically useless for other tasks. So neural networks are actually a great case study in why intelligence does not need to be unidimensional.

If you wanted to argue that neural networks show that intelligence is unidimensional, you'd want to go one level up and argue that the same architecture and training procedure works great across a wide variety of problems, even if the resulting neural nets don't seem to be comparable in intelligence terms. But that isn't exactly true either. (My personal guess is this will become more true as research advances, but we'll retain the ability to train systems which excel along one particular "dimension" while being inferior along others.)

This is one of those cases where a 2 hour machine learning tutorial beats weeks of philosophizing.

Rob Bensinger's COVID-19 overview

I just finished a video appointment with a cardiologist where we discussed the clotting thing. Even though he seemed to think I had COVID, and I recently had an abnormal EKG and some mild chest tightness, he thought it was better to avoid blood thinners. Apparently he has been receiving Cochrane reports on COVID before they are publicly available. He said that the increased clotting is usually in patients w/ some kinda predisposition and tends to be worse with more severe symptoms. Even for low-dose aspirin, he thinks the risk of bleeding is larger than the potential benefits. "I've seen all these complications from blood thinners." (I'm 28 FYI.)

Note that despite previous speculation on LW regarding prophylactic use of low-dose aspirin for longevity, a large clinical trial found it wasn't useful in older folks (age 65+). Note this bit:

Significant bleeding—a known risk of regular aspirin use—was also measured. The investigators noted that aspirin was associated with a significantly increased risk of bleeding, primarily in the gastrointestinal tract and brain. Clinically significant bleeding—hemorrhagic stroke, bleeding in the brain, gastrointestinal hemorrhages or hemorrhages at other sites that required transfusion or hospitalization—occurred in 361 people (3.8 percent) on aspirin and in 265 (2.7 percent) taking the placebo.

At the very least, I suggest you change your recommendation from "aspirin" to "low-dose aspirin". Overall, I'm more inclined to trust secondhand accounts of Cochrane preprints than collections of anecdotes in the media.

Where should LessWrong go on COVID?

I just wanna encourage you to not create COVID threads for the sake of creating COVID threads. I contributed to some of those threads, but in retrospect I think my contributions were kind of a waste of time, because there's just been so much COVID discussion on LW and it's not organized very well. (One example: this overview suggested high-dose vitamin D and exercise could be good, I had posted links from sources I think are reasonably credible saying both of those could be harmful. I'm not certain they're harmful but given that the LW userbase skews young, think it's better to avoid high variance treatments since the default outcome for us is good.)

This is one of my big complaints about LW in general but for whatever reason it's been seeming especially acute lately.

[U.S. Specific] Free money (~$5k-$30k) for Independent Contractors and grant recipients from U.S. government

As near as I can tell, it is totally legal to apply for a loan from multiple lenders, so long as you don’t accept a loan from multiple lenders. (However, I am not a lawyer or an accountant, and I may be wrong about that.)

FWIW, for the Kabbage website, you're supposed to check a box that says:

"During the period beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, the Applicant has not and will not receive another loan under the Paycheck Protection Program."

[U.S. Specific] Free money (~$5k-$30k) for Independent Contractors and grant recipients from U.S. government

The Kabbage application says:

At least 75% of the loan proceeds must be used to cover payrolls costs in order to receive total loan forgiveness. This information will be verified when you request loan forgiveness.

[U.S. Specific] Free money (~$5k-$30k) for Independent Contractors and grant recipients from U.S. government

However, 100% of the principle is eligible for loan forgiveness, so long as you spend the <= 75% of the total amount on payroll costs (i.e. pay the money to yourself).

The grammar for this sentence seems a little borked, so I wanted to double check: At most 75% of the money can be paid to yourself?

The Unilateralist’s “Curse” Is Mostly Good

The printing press is a tool which lets us coordinate multilateral action differently than we were previously.

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