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Align it

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What can be used to auth will be used to auth

One of the symptoms of our society's deep security inadequacy is the widespread usage of unsecure forms of authentication.

It's bad enough that there are systems which authenticate you using your birthday, SSN, or mother's maiden name by spec.

Fooling bad authentication is also an incredibly common vector for social engineering. 

Anything you might have, which others seem unlikely to have (but which you may not immediately see a reason to keep secret), could be accepted by someone you implicitly trust as "authentication."

This includes:

  • Company/industry jargon
  • Company swag
  • Certain biographical information about yourself (including information you could easily Google)
  • Knowing how certain internal numbering or naming systems work (hotels seemingly assume only guests know how the rooms are numbered!)

As the worst instance of this, the best way to understand a lot of AIS research in 2022 was “hang out at lunch in Constellation”. 

Is this no longer the case? If so, what changed?

This is a reasonable point, but I have a cached belief that frozen food is substantially less healthy than non-frozen food somehow.

This is very interesting. My guess is that this would take a lot of time to set up, but if you have eg. recommended catering providers in SFBA, I'd be very interested!

Completely fair request. I think I was a bit vague when I said "on top or around AI systems."

The point here is that I want to find techniques that seem to positively influence model behavior, which I can "staple on" to existing models without a gargantuan engineering effort.

I am especially excited about these ideas if they seem scalable or architecture-agnostic.

Here are a few examples of the kind of research I'm excited about:

  • Conciseness priors on outputs (as a way to shift cognitive labor to humans) 
    • I think there is a reasonable story for how conciseness priors could improve alignment. This looks like the AI being more eager to use higher level explanations that make humans guess the details, avoiding using ideas that would be very hard to grasp for a human when simpler-to-human ideas would do, being honest and transparent with humans so that we can do a better job filling in the gaps, etc.
    • If it is indeed the case that strong conciseness priors incentivize transparency-to-humans, then it seems worth investigating 1, how far this effect goes, 2, if there are some tweaks / clever ways to apply pressure toward conciseness that work much better than others for alignment.
  • OSNR
    • I feel pretty optimistic that applying noise to the outputs of an AI system and then having humans reconstruct it yields nice alignment properties.
    • However, role-playing as a misaligned AI, there was ways that I could get around this process. Mainly, this involved "cheating" the noising process using selective redundancy. I've recently been investigating how to recover from this hack via methods like paraphrasing and calculating token salience.
  • Other regularizations.
    • Speed priors.
    • Trying to figure out what sorts of inductive biases have nice alignment properties.
  • Some of Tamera's work on externalized reasoning.
    • I think betting on language models scaling to ASI would not be crazy. 
    • Investigating how we can influence "reasoning in language" seems promising, stackable, and is plausibly the type of work that can be "stapled on" to future models.
  • AI Safety via Debate
    • This just seems like something we can build once we have a really advanced language model. It stacks with everything else, and it seems to have great properties.

If someone were to discover a great regularizer for language models, OSNR turns out to work well and I sort out the issues around strategic redundancy, and externalized reasoning oversight turns out to be super promising, then we could just stack all three. 

We could then clone the resulting model and run a debate, ior stack on whatever other advances we've made by that point. I'm really excited about this sort of modularity, and I guess I'm also pretty optimistic about a few of these techniques having more bite than people may initially guess.

Recently my alignment orientation has basically been “design stackable tools on top or around AI systems which produce pressure toward increased alignment.”

I think it’s a pretty productive avenue that’s 1) harder to get lost in, and 2) might be eventually sufficient for alignment.

neuron has

I was confused by the singular "neuron." 

I think the point here is that if there are some neurons which have low activation but high direct logit attribution after layernorm, then this is pretty good evidence for "smuggling."

Is my understanding here basically correct?

Shallow comment:

How are you envisioning the prevention of strategic takeovers? It seems plausible that robustly preventing strategic takeovers would also require substantial strategizing/actualizing.

The first point isn’t super central. FWIW I do expect that humans will occasionally not swap words back.

Humans should just look at the noised plan and try to convert it into a more reasonable-seeming, executable plan.

Edit: that is, without intentionally changing details.

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