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Great points about not wanting to summon the doom memeplex!

It sounds like your proposed narrative is not doom but disempowerment: humans could lose control of the future. An advantage of this narrative is that people often find it more plausible: many more scenarios lead to disempowerment than to outright doom.

I also personally use the disempowerment narrative because it feels more honest to me: my P(doom) is fairly low but my P(disempowerment) is substantial.

I’m curious though whether you’ve run into the same hurdle I have, namely that people already feel disempowered! They know that some humans somewhere have some power, but it’s not them. So the Davos types will lose control of the future? Many people express indifference or even perverse satisfaction at this outcome.

A positive narrative of empowerment could be much more potent, if only I knew how to craft it.

Hypothesis I is testable! Instead of prompting with a string of actual tokens, use a “virtual token” (a vector v from the token embedding space) in place of ‘ petertodd’.

It would be enlightening to rerun the above experiments with different choices of v:

  • A random vector (say, iid Gaussian )
  • A random sparse vector
  • (apple+banana)/2
  • (villain-hero)+0.1*(bitcoin dev)


However, there is some ambiguity, as at temperature 0, ‘ petertodd’ is saving the world

All superheroes are alike; each supervillain is villainous in its own way.

Did you ever try this experiment? I'm really curious how it turned out!

How can the Continuum Hypothesis be independent of the ZFC axioms? Why does the lack of “explicit” examples of sets with a cardinality between that of the naturals and that of the reals not guarantee that there are no examples at all? What would an “implicit” example even mean?

It means that you can’t reach a contradiction by starting with “Let S be a set of intermediate cardinality” and following axioms of ZFC.

All the things you know and love doing with sets —intersection, union, choice, comprehension, Cartesian product, power set — you can do those things with S and nothing will go wrong. S “behaves like a set”, you’ll never catch it doing something unsetlike.

Another way to say this is: There is a model of ZFC that contains a set S of intermediate cardinality. (There is also a model of ZFC that doesn’t. And I’m sympathetic to the view that - since there’s no explicit construction of S -we’ll never encounter an S in the wild and so the model not including S is simpler and better.)

Caveat: All of the above rests on the usual unstated assumption that ZFC is consistent! Because it’s so common to leave it unstated, this assumption is questioned less than maybe it should be, given that ZFC can’t prove its own consistency.

Yep, it's a funny example of trade, in that neither party is cognizant of the fact that they are trading! 

I agree that Abrams could be wrong, but I don't take the story about "spirits" as much evidence: A ritual often has a stated purpose that sounds like nonsense, and yet the ritual persists because it confers some incidental benefit on the enactor.

Anecdotal example of trade with ants (from a house in Bali, as described by David Abrams):

The daily gifts of rice kept the ant colonies occupied–and, presumably, satisfied. Placed in regular, repeated locations at the corners of various structures around the compound, the offerings seemed to establish certain boundaries between the human and ant communities; by honoring this boundary with gifts, the humans apparently hoped to persuade the insects to respect the boundary and not enter the buildings.

if you are smarter at solving math tests where you have to give the right answer, then that will make you worse at e.g. solving math "tests" where you have to give the wrong answer.


Is that true though? If you're good at identifying right answers, then by process of elimination you can also identify wrong answers. 

I mean sure, if you think you're supposed to give the right answer then yes you will score poorly on a test where you're actually supposed to give the wrong answer.  Assuming you get feedback, though, you'll soon learn to give wrong answers and then the previous point applies.

There’s a trap here where the more you think about how to prevent bad outcomes from AGI, the more you realize you need to understand current AI capabilities and limitations, and to do that there is no substitute for developing and trying to improve current AI!

A secondary trap is that preventing unaligned AGI probably will require lots of limited aligned helper AIs which you have to figure out how to build, again pushing you in the direction of improving current AI.

The strategy of “getting top AGI researchers to stop” is a tragedy of the commons: They can be replaced by other researchers with fewer scruples. In principle TotC can be solved, but it’s hard. Assuming that effort succeeds, how feasible would it be to set up a monitoring regime to prevent covert AGI development?

“no free lunch in intelligence” is an interesting thought, can you make it more precise?

Intelligence is more effective in combination with other skills, which suggests “free lunch” as opposed to tradeoffs.

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