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WillPearson comments on Open Thread #38 - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: WillPearson 22 August 2017 10:19:04AM 3 points [-]

I've been reading Superforecasting and my take away is that to have good predictions at the world you need to have a multiplicity of view points and quantify and breakdown the estimates fermi-style.

So my question is, has there been any collective attempts at model building for prediction purposes? Try and get all the hedgehogs together with their big ideas and synthesize them to form a collective fox-y model?

I know there are prediction markets, but you don't know what information that a price has synthesized so it is hard to bet on them, if you only have a small bit of information and do not think you know better than the market as a whole.

It would seem that if we could share a pool of predictive power between us we could make better decisions about how to intervene in the world.

Comment author: poppingtonic 23 August 2017 12:12:49PM 1 point [-]

I think that the Good Judgment Project (founded by Philip Tetlock, the author of Superforecasting) is trying to build this with their experiments.

Comment author: WillPearson 23 August 2017 02:03:00PM 0 points [-]

I'd not thought to look at it, I assumed it was/stayed an IARPA thing and so focused on world affairs. Thanks!

It looks like it has become a for-profit endeavour now with an open component.

From the looks of it there are no ways to submit questions and you can't see the models of the world used to make the predictions, so I'm not sure if charities (or people investing in charities) can gain much value from it.

We would want questions of the form: if intervention Y occurs what is the expected magnitude of outcome Z.

I'm not sure how best to tackle this.

Comment author: rhys_lindmark 24 August 2017 03:59:18PM 0 points [-]

Great question. https://gnosis.pm and https://augur.net are building decentralized prediction markets on the Ethereum blockchain. Their goal is to "match the global liquidity pool to the global knowledge pool."

I've asked them how they're thinking about hedgehogs to form a collective fox-y model (and then segmenting the data by hedgehog type).

But yeah, I think they will allow you to do what you want above: "Questions of the form: if intervention Y occurs what is the expected magnitude of outcome Z."

Comment author: poppingtonic 29 September 2017 02:52:12PM 0 points [-]

I like both of them, but I'm wondering: why wait so long? Isn't there a way some group (maybe us) could build 10% of the kind of prediction market that gets us 90% of what we actually need? I need to think about this more, but waiting for Gnosis and Augur to mature seems risky. Unless de-risking that bet means joining both projects to accelerate their advent.

Comment author: purplepeople 22 August 2017 07:47:05PM 0 points [-]

That's an interesting point about prediction markets. We individuals tend to invest in the stock market even when we know the market as a whole is wiser than us as individuals, because on the whole the market goes up, and anyways there are ways to track overall market performance. For prediction markets, I suppose there would need to be similar incentives somehow, otherwise every individual who doesn't have special information would be better off predicting what the overall market predicts, which doesn't help.

I'm guessing I just don't understand how prediction markets work. Hoping someone will correct me.