National Institute of Standards and Technology: AI Standards

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I like the reasoning on the front, but I disagree. The reason I don't think it holds is because the Western Front as we understand it is what happened after the British Expeditionary Force managed to disrupt the German offensive into France, and the defenses that were deployed were based on the field conditions as they existed.

What I am proposing is that initial invasion go directly into the teeth of the untested defenses which were built for the imagined future war (which was over a period of 40 years or so before actual war broke out). I reason these defenses contained all of the mistaken assumptions which the field armies made and learned from in the opening months of the war in our history, but built-in and having no time or flexibility to correct in the face of a general invasion. Even if Britain eventually enters the war, I strongly expect there would be no surprise attack by the expeditionary force during Germany's initial invasion, and so predict the Germans take Paris.

That being said, my reasoning does work in reverse and so supports your proposed plan: if we are able to persuade Germany of the historically proven defenses and update them about the true logistical burden, they absolutely could greet the French with a Western Front-grade of defenses on their side of the border. This provides more than enough time to subjugate Russia before mobilization, or perhaps drive them to surrender outright with confirmation that their chief ally is useless. The less aggressive option with France makes the British and US entries into the war even less likely, I'd wager.

Frankly, conquering France isn't even a real win condition, it was just what I expected because that's where the invasion went historically. This makes the whole affair look simpler, where Germany and Austria-Hungary are able to prosecute a war on just the Russian and Balkan fronts, it stops being a world war and reduces to a large European war, and they get to exploit the territorial gains going forward.

My idea is a smaller intervention, but I think I like yours better!

Indeed you might - in fact I suggested attacking through the French border directly in the other question where we aid Germany/Austria rather than try to prevent the war.

The idea of defending against France is an interesting one - the invasion plans called for knocking out France first and Russia second based on the speed with which they expected each country to mobilize, and Russia is much slower to conquer just based on how far everyone has to walk. Do you estimate choosing to face an invasion from France would be worth whatever they gain from Russia, in the thinking of German command?

I genuinely don't know anything about Germany's plans for Russia post invasion in the WW1 case, so I cannot tell.

Answer by ryan_bNov 27, 202350

Under these conditions yes, through the mechanism of persuading German High Command to invade through the French border directly rather than going through Belgium. Without the Belgian invasion, Britain does not enter the war (or at least not so soon); without Britain in the war Germany likely does not choose unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic; without unrestricted submarine warfare the US cannot be induced to enter the war on the side of the French.

As to why the direct invasion would work, we have the evidence from clashes in the field that the German armies were in general superior to the French ones, including those with defensive positions, and field experience also showed that the innovations which went into the new defenses (and the war generally) were poorly understood and inefficiently used (I have in mind here particularly the habit of radically overshooting targets and extreme underestimates of the supply requirements to sustain fire).

My extremely rough guess is that the fortifications along the border add a few days to a week of delay, with the rest of the German strategy and timetable going according to plan.

Answer by ryan_bNov 27, 202330

My best path for a yes is through the mechanism of Great Britain being very explicit with Germany about their intent to abide by the 1839 Treaty of London.

For context, this is the one where the signatories promise to declare war on whoever invades Belgium, and was Britain's entry point into the war. There were at least some high ranking military officers who believed that had Britain said specifically that they would go to war if Belgium were invaded, Germany would have chosen not to invade.

Power seeking mostly succeeds by the other agents not realizing what is going on, so it either takes them by surprise or they don’t even notice it happened until the power is exerted.

Yet power seeking is a symmetric behavior, and power is scarce. The defense is to compete for power against the other agent, and try to eliminate them if possible.

I agree with this, and I am insatiably curious about what was behind their decisions about how to handle it.

But my initial reaction based on what we have seen is that it wouldn’t have worked, because Sam Altman comes to the meeting with a pre-rallied employee base and the backing of Microsoft. Since Ilya reversed on the employee revolt, I doubt he would have gone along with the plan when presented a split of OpenAI up front.

I agree in the main, and I think it is worth emphasizing that power-seeking is a skillset, which is orthogonal to values; we should put it in the Dark Arts pile, and anyone involved in running an org should learn it at least enough to defend against it.

I think the central confusion here is: why, in the face of someone explicitly trying to take over the board, would the rest of the board just keep that person around?

None of the things you suggested have any bearing whatsoever on whether Sam Altman would continue to try and take over the board. If he has no board position but is still the CEO, he can still do whatever he wants with the company, and also try to take over the board. If he is removed as CEO but remains on the board, he will still try to take over the board. Packing the board has no bearing on the things Sam can do to expand his influence there, it just means it takes longer.

The problem the board had to solve was not the immediacy of Sam taking over, but the inevitability of it. The gambit with removing Helen Toner failed, but other gambits would follow. Also notice that the 4-2 split is not a fixed faction: Ilya switched sides as soon as the employees revolted putting us at 3-3, and it appears Adam D’Angelo was instrumental in the negotiation to bring Sam back. What looks at first like a 4-2 split and therefore safe was more like a 2-1-1-2 that briefly coalesced into a 4-2 split in response to Sam trying to make it a 1-1-1-3 split instead. Under those conditions, Sam would be able to do anything that wasn't so egregious it caused the other three to unify AND one of his team's seats to defect.

Well gang, it looks like we have come to the part where we are struggling directly over the destiny of humanity. In addition to persuasion and incentives, we'll have to account for the explicit fights over control of the orgs.

Silver lining: it means we have critical mass for enough of humanity and enough wealth in play to die with our boots on, at least!

I agree with all of this in principal, but I am hung up on the fact that it is so opaque. Up until now the board have determinedly remained opaque.

If corporate seppuku is on the table, why not be transparent? How does being opaque serve the mission?

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