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"Neural networks" vs. "Not neural networks" is a completely wrong way to look at the problem.

For one thing, there are very different algorithms lumped under the title "neural networks". For example Boltzmann machines and feedforward networks are both called "neural networks" but IMO it's more because it's a fashionable name than because of actual similarity in how they work.

More importantly, the really significant distinction is making progress by trail and error vs. making progress by theoretical understanding. The goal of AI safety research should be shifting the balance towards the second option, since the second option is much more likely to yield results that are predictable and satisfy provable guarantees. In this context I believe MIRI correctly identified multiple important problems (logical uncertainty, decision theory, naturalized induction, Vingean reflection). I am mildly skeptical about the attempts to attack these problems using formal logic, but the approaches based on complexity theory and statistical learning theory that I'm pursuing seem completely compatible with various machine learning techniques including ANNs.

What makes you think so? The main reason I can see why the death of less than 100% of the population would stop us from getting back is if it's followed by a natural event that finishes off the rest. However 25% of current humanity seems much more than enough to survive all natural disasters that are likely to happen in the following 10,000 years. The black death killed about half the population of Europe and it wasn't enough even to destroy the pre-existing social institutions.

Hi Peter! I am Vadim, we met in a LW meetup in CFAR's office last May.

You might be right that SPARC is important but I really want to hear from the horse's mouth what is their strategy in this regard. I'm inclined to disagree with you regarding younger people, what makes you think so? Regardless of age I would guess establishing a continuous education programme would have much more impact than a two-week summer workshop. It's not obvious what is the optimal distribution of resources (many two week workshops for many people or one long program for fewer people) but I haven't seen such an analysis by CFAR.

The body of this worthy man died in August 2014, but his brain is preserved by Alcor. May a day come when he lives again and death is banished forever.

It feels like there is an implicit assumption in CFAR's agenda that most of the important things are going to happen in one or two decades from now. Otherwise it would make sense to place more emphasis on creating educational programs for children where the long term impact can be larger (I think). Do you agree with this assessment? If so, how do you justify the short term assumption?

Link to "Limited intelligence AIs evaluated on their mathematical ability", and link to "AIs locked in cryptographic boxes".

On the other hand, articles and books can reach a much larger number of people (case in point: the Sequences). I would really want to see a more detailed explanation by CFAR of the rationale behind their strategy.

Thank you for writing this. Several questions.

  • How do you see CFAR in the long term? Are workshops going to remain in the center? Are you planning some entirely new approaches to promoting rationality?

  • How much do you plan to upscale? Are the workshops intended to produce a rationality elite or eventually become more of a mass phenomenon?

  • It seem possible that revolutionizing the school system would have much higher impact on rationality than providing workshops for adults. SPARC might be one step in this direction. What are you thoughts / plans regarding this approach?

!!! It is October 27, not 28 !!!

Also, it's at 19:00

Sorry but it's impossible to edit the post.

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