TopherHallquist comments on My Cause Selection: Michael Dickens - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: TopherHallquist 20 September 2015 09:15:22PM 1 point [-]

AI safety is such a new field that I don't expect you need to be a genius to do anything groundbreaking.

They claim to be working on areas like game theory, decision theory, and mathematical logic, which are all well-developed fields of study. I see no reason to think those fields have lots of low-hanging fruit that would allow average researchers to make huge breakthroughs. Sure, they have a new angle on those fields, but does a new angle really overcome their lack of an impressive research track-record?

But I expect them to be better at AI safety research because MIRI has been working on it for longer and has a stronger grasp of the technical challenges.

Do they have a stronger grasp of the technical challenges? They're certainly opinionated about what it will take to make AI safe, but their (public) justifications for those opinions look pretty flimsy.