Being able to reliably succeed on this task is one of the tests I've been using. Mostly, though, it's just a matter of trying to get to the point where we can both be focusing intently on something.
I tried that last week. I lost. We were actively trying to not share our strategies with each other, although in our case abstract knowledge and skills are shared.
In terms of form, she's an anthropomorphic fox. At the moment, looking at her is not noticeably different to normal visualisation, except that I don't have to put any effort into it. Explaining it in words is somewhat hard -- she's opaque without actually occluding anything, if that makes sense.
So, I have a tulpa, and she is willing to answer any questions people might have for her. She's not properly independent yet, so we can't do the more interesting stuff like parallel processing, etc, unfortunately (damned akrasia).
There have been a number of reports on the tulpa subreddit from people who have talked to their psychologist about their tulpa. The diagnosis seems to be split 50/50 between "unusual coping mechanism" and "Disassociative Identity Disorder not otherwise specified".
I might be interested in being your study partner; what would that involve?
Sorry for the late reply; my mid-semester break just started, which of course meant I came down with a cold :). I've (re-)read the recent papers, and was rather surprised at how much of the maths I was able to understand. I'm feeling less confidant about my mathematical ability after reading the papers, but that is probably a result of spending a few hours reading papers I don't fully understand rather an accurate assessment of my ability. Concept learning seems to be a good backup option, especially since it sounds like something my supervisor would love (except for the part where it's a form of supervised learning, but that's unlikely to be a problem).
I vaguely remember EY mentioning something about there needing to be research into better operating systems and/or better programming languages (in terms of reliability/security/correctness), but this may have been a while ago. I have quite a bit of interest in this area, and some experience as well. Is this something that you think would be valuable (and if so, how valuable compared to work on the main open problems)?
Do you know which of the open problems MIRI is likely to attack first? I'd like to avoid duplication of effort, though I know with the unpredictability of mathematical insight that's not always feasible.
UPDATE: I just had a meeting with my supervisor, and he was pretty happy with all of the options I presented, so that won't be a problem. An idea I had this morning, which I'm pretty excited about, is potentially applying the method from the probabalistic reflection paper to the Halting Problem, since it seems to share the same self-referential structure.
Two people, if you count random lesswrongers, and ~300, if you count self-reporting in the last tulpa survey (although some of the reports in that survey are a bit questionable.