Hi - lil bit of anonymity intended so I can feel more free to contribute and engage more closely with this community. Trying to learn quickly by experimenting.

Wiki Contributions


Kinda commenting on stuff like “Please don’t throw your mind away” or any advice not to fully defer judgment to others (and not intending to just straw man these! They’re nuanced and valuable, just meaning to next step it).

In my circumstance and I imagine many others who are young and trying to learn and trying to get a job, I think you have to defer to your seniors/superiors/program to a great extent, or at least to the extent where you accept or act on things (perform research, support ops) that you’re quite uncertain about.

Idk there’s a lot more nuance here to this conversation as with any, of course. Maybe nobody is certain of anything and they’re just staking a claim so that they can be proven right or wrong and experiment in this way, producing value in their overconfidence. But I do get a sense of young/new people coming into a field that is even slightly established, requiring to some extent to defer to others for their own sake.

I don’t mean to present myself as the “best arguments that could be answered here” or at all representative of the alignment community. But just wanted to engage. I appreciate your thoughts!

Well, one argument for potential doom doesn’t necessitate an adversarial AI, but rather people using increasingly powerful tools in dumb and harmful ways (in the same class of consideration for me as nuclear weapons; my dumb imagined situation of this is a government using AI to continually scale up surveillance and maybe we eventually get to a position like in 1984)

Another point is that a sufficiently intelligent and agentic AI would not need humans, it would probably eventually be suboptimal to rely on humans for anything. And it kinda feels to me like this is what we are heavily incentivized to design, the next best and most capable system. In terms of efficiency, we want to get rid of the human in the loop, that person’s expensive!

Idk the public access of some of these things, like with nonlinear's recent round, but seeing a lot of apps there and organized by category, reminded me of this post a little bit.

edit - in terms of seeing what people are trying to do in the space. Though I imagine this does not capture the biggest players that do have funding.

btw small note that I think accumulations of grant applications are probably pretty good sources of info.

BTW - this video is quite fun. Seems relevant re: Paperclip Maximizer and nanobots.

low commit here but I've previously used nanotech as an example (rather than a probable outcome) of a class somewhat known unknowns - to portray possible future risks that we can imagine as possible while not being fully conceived. So while grey goo might be unlikely, it seems that precursor to grey goo of a pretty intelligent system trying to mess us up is the thing to be focused on, and this is one of its many possibilities that we can even imagine

I rather liked this post (and I’ll put it on both EAF and LW versions)

Particularly the comment by Jakob Kraus reminded me that many people have faced imminent doom (not of human species, but certainly quite terrible experiences).

Hi, writing this while on the go but just throwing it out there, this seems to be Sam Altman’s intent with OpenAI in pursuing fast timelines with slow takeoffs.

I am unaware of those decisions at the time. I imagine people are some degree of ‘making decisions under uncertainty’, even if that uncertainty could be resolved by info somewhere out there. Perhaps there’s some optimization of how much time you spend looking into something and how right you could expect to be?

Anecdote of me (not super rationalist-practiced, also just at times dumb) - I sometimes discover stuff I briefly took to be true in passing to be false later. Feels like there’s an edge of truth/falsehoods that we investigate pretty loosely but still use a heuristic of some valence of true/false maybe a bit too liberally at times.

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