Wiki Contributions


Seems like the real test would be to do it without the television shows?

Is gain-of-function research "very harmful"? I feel like it's not appropriate to nickel-and-dime this.

And also, yes, I do think it's harmful directly, in addition to eventually in expectation. It's a substantial derogation of a norm that should exist. To explain this concept further:

  • In addition to risking pandemics, participating in gain-of-function research also sullies and debases the research community, and makes it less the shape it needs to be culturally to do epidemiology. Refusing to take massive risks with minor upsides, even if they're cool, is also a virtue cultivation practice.
  • When a politician talks openly about how he wants to rig elections, exchange military aid for domestic political assistance, etc., he causes direct harm now even if the "plans" do not amount to anything later. This is because the speech acts disrupt the equilibria that make similar things less likely in general.

My comments here are intended as an explicit, loud signal of condemnation. This research is misconduct. Frankly, I am frustrated I have to be the one to say this, when it duly falls to community leaders to do so.

Because of the Curry-Howard correspondence, as well as for other reasons, it does not seem that the distance between solving math problems and writing AIs is large. I mean, actually, according to the correspondence, the distance is zero, but perhaps we may grant that programming an AI is a different kind of math problem from the Olympiad fare. Does this make you feel safe?

Also, it seems that the core difficulty in alignment is more in producing definitions and statements of theorems, than in proving theorems. What should the math even look like or be about? A proof assistant is not helpful here.

I think this kind of research is very harmful and should stop.

I think it's important to repeat this even if it's common knowledge in many of our circles, because it's not in broader circles, and we should not give up on reminding people not to conduct research that leads to net increased risk of destroying the world, even if its really cool, gets you promoted, or makes you a lot of money.

Again, OpenAI people, if you're reading this, please stop.

Does anyone know approx what time the event will end?

Stylebot for chrome. Perhaps there's better now — the ui can be a bit wonky — but I've used it for almost a decade, so

I found, when I tried to do this over a year ago, that no matter how much effort I put into "pruning" the home screen, YouTube would always devote ~10-20% of it to stuff I didn't want to see. Either it was epsilon-exploration, or stuff that tested well with the general population, or a bunch of "mandatory modules" like popular music or "news," but whatever it was, I couldn't get rid of all of it, and some of it managed to attract my clicks despite my best efforts. These extra items filled me with a sense of violation whenever I scrolled through.

So, I wound up using a CSS editor to block the main content of the youtube index page, as well as that column of recommended videos that gets shown next to the player. Here's my custom stylesheet:

.branded-page-v2-secondary-col > * {
  display: none;

ytd-browse[page-subtype="home"] {
  display: none;

ytd-watch-next-secondary-results-renderer {
  display: none;

Now when I visit, I get a blank page, and have to click on "subscriptions" in the left column to get the user experience I want, plus I get recommended videos only when I FINISH a video. This is a far more pleasant experience, and I am able to use YouTube for pretty much only classical music, cooking tutorials, and the occasional education video, without ever getting pulled into things I don't want.

Speaking of the recommendation algo, btw, it's also super awesome. It has somehow consistently surfaced new classical music composers to me, and has played a major role in the development of my tastes and interests over the past few years. Without it, I doubt I would have been exposed to Schnittke or Bruckner, for example. Way better than spotify, and I haven't found anything to replace it, sadly.



Let's not get ahead of ourselves, friend.

  • how suitable is the research engineering job for people with no background in ml, but who are otherwise strong engineers and mathematicians?
  • will these jobs be long-term remote? if not, on what timeframe will they be remote?
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