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Michael_PJ comments on EA should invest more in exploration - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Michael_PJ 06 February 2017 11:35:08PM 0 points [-]

1) I nearly added a section about whether exploration is funiding- or talent-constrained! In short, I'm not sure, and I suspect it's different in different places. It sounds like OPP is probably talent-constrained, but other orgs may differ. In particular, if we wanted to try some of my other suggestions for improving exploration, like building institutions to start new orgs, then that's potentially quite funding-intensive.

2) I'm not sure whether multi-armed bandits actually model our situation, since I'm not sure if you can incorporate situations where you can change the efficiencies of your actions. What does "improving exploration capacity" look like in a multi-armed bandit? There may also be complications because we don't even know the size of the option set.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 19 April 2017 08:40:35PM 0 points [-]

What does "improving exploration capacity" look like in a multi-armed bandit?

You could potentially model this as an (a) increase in the amount of bandit pulls you can do in parallel (simple models only assume one pull at a time), (b) a decrease in the amount of time it takes between a bandit pull and the information being received (simple bandit models assume this to be instantaneous), (c) an increase in the accuracy of information received by each bandit pull (simple models assume the information received is perfectly accurate).

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 19 April 2017 08:38:46PM 0 points [-]

It sounds like OPP is probably talent-constrained

This seems likely to me given that they certainly have more funding than they currently know how to spend, but given that they are not openly hiring right now, I imagine they are probably just not constrained by talent or money.