The case for aligning narrowly superhuman models

How useful would it be to work on a problem where the LM "knows" can not be superhuman but it still knows how to do well and needs to be incentivized to do so? A currently prominent example problem is that LMs produce "toxic" content:

Demand offsetting

Put differently, buying eggs only hurt hens via some indirect market effects, and I’m now offsetting my harm at that level before it turns into any actual harm to a hen.

I probably misunderstand but isn't this also true about other offsetting schemes like convincing people to go vegetarian? They also lower demand.

Acetylcholine = Learning rate (aka plasticity)

Related,  Acetylcholine has been hypothesized to signal to the rest of the brain that unfamiliar/uncertain things are about to happen

Where is human level on text prediction? (GPTs task)

FWIW I wouldn't read much into it if LMs were outperforming humans at next-word-prediction. You can improve on it by having superhuman memory and doing things like analyzing the author's vocabulary. I may misremember but I thought we've already outperformed humans on some LM dataset?

Will OpenAI's work unintentionally increase existential risks related to AI?

No. Amodei led the GPT-3 project, he's clearly not opposed to scaling things. Idk why they're leaving but since they're all starting a new thing together, I presume that's the reason.

New SARS-CoV-2 variant

Some expert commentary here:


  • We previously thought a strain from Spain was spreading faster than the rest but it was just because og people returning from holiday in Spain.
  • Chance events can help a strain spread faster.
  • The UK (and Denmark) do more gene sequencing than other countries - that may explain why they picked up the new variant first.
  • The strain has acquired 17 mutations at once which is very high. Not clear what that means.
Continuing the takeoffs debate

For example, moving from a 90% chance to a 95% chance of copying a skill correctly doubles the expected length of any given transmission chain, allowing much faster cultural accumulation. This suggests that there’s a naturally abrupt increase in the usefulness of culture

This makes sense when there's only one type of thing to teach / imitate. But some things are easier to teach and imitate than others (e. g. catching a fish vs. building a house). And while there may be an abrupt jump in the ability to teach or imitate each particular skill, this argument doesn't show that there will be a jump in the number of skills that can be taught /imitated. (Which is what matters)

Covid Covid Covid Covid Covid 10/29: All We Ever Talk About

Right, to be clear that's the sort of number I have in mind and wouldn't call far far lower.

Covid Covid Covid Covid Covid 10/29: All We Ever Talk About

the infection fatality rate is far, far lower [now]


Just registering that, based on my reading of people who study the IFR over time, this is a highly contentious claim especially in the US.

interpreting GPT: the logit lens

Are these known facts? If not, I think there's a paper in here.

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