Alex Turner, Oregon State University PhD student working on AI alignment.


Reframing Impact
Becoming Stronger


SETI Predictions

Why do people have such low credences for "The effect of First contact is mostly harmful (e.g., selfish ETI, hazards)"? Most alien minds probably don't care about us? But perhaps caring about variety is evolutionarily convergent? If not, why wouldn't our "first contact" be extremely negative (given their tech advantage)?

TurnTrout's shortform feed

Over the last 2.5 years, I've read a lot of math textbooks. Not using Anki / spaced repetition systems over that time has been an enormous mistake. My factual recall seems worse-than-average among my peers, but when supplemented with Anki, it's far better than average (hence, I was able to learn 2000+ Japanese characters in 90 days, in college). 

I considered using Anki for math in early 2018, but I dismissed it quickly because I hadn't had good experience using that application for things which weren't languages. I should have at least tried to see if I could repurpose my previous success! I'm now happily using Anki to learn measure theory and ring theory, and I can already tell that it's sticking far better. 

This mistake has had real consequences. I've gotten far better at proofs and I'm quite good at real analysis (I passed a self-administered graduate qualifying exam in the spring), but I have to look things some up for probability theory. Not a good look in interviews. I might have to spend weeks of extra time reviewing things I could have already stashed away in an Anki deck. 


Just another day in utopia

What a beautiful, bold, and chaotic story. Thanks for writing, Stuart.

Embedded Interactive Predictions on LessWrong

I also did give arguments above, but people mostly made jokes about my punctuation! #grumpy

This is a timeless part of the LessWrong experience, my friend. 

Embedded Interactive Predictions on LessWrong

Argument screens off authority, and I'm interested in hearing arguments. While that information should be incorporated into your prior, I don't see why it's worth mentioning as a counterargument. (To be sure, I'm not claiming that jacobjacob isn't a good predictor in general.)

TurnTrout's shortform feed

I remarked to my brother, Josh, that when most people find themselves hopefully saying "here's how X can still happen!", it's a lost cause and they should stop grasping for straws and move on with their lives. Josh grinned, pulled out his cryonics necklace, and said "here's how I can still not die!"

Non-Obstruction: A Simple Concept Motivating Corrigibility

Do I intend to do something with people's predictions? Not presently, but I think people giving predictions is good both for the reader (to ingrain the concepts by thinking things through enough to provide a credence / agreement score) and for the community (to see where people stand wrt these ideas).

The Catastrophic Convergence Conjecture

The catastrophic convergence conjecture was originally formulated in terms of "outer alignment catastrophes tending to come from power-seeking behavior." I think that this was a mistake: I meant to talk about impact alignment catastrophes tending to be caused by power-seeking. I've updated the post accordingly.

Embedded Interactive Predictions on LessWrong

jacobjacob once again seems too pessimistic, posterior is very heavily that when habryka makes a 60% yes prediction for a decision he has (partial) control over about a functionality which the community has glommed onto thus far, the community is also justified in expressing ~60% belief that the feature ships. :)

Also, we aren't selecting from "most possible features"!

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