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MIRI 2017 Fundraiser and Strategy Update

The Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) is running its annual fundraiser through the end of December. MIRI is a research nonprofit based in Berkeley, California with a mission of ensuring that smarter-than-human AI technology has a positive impact on the world. For an introduction to our work, see Nate Soares’... Read More
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Peter Hurford thinks that a large proportion of people should earn to give long term

Recently, 80,000 Hours wrote that they think only a small proportion of people should earn to give long term. They asked their team “At this point in time, and on the margin, what portion of altruistically motivated graduates from a good university, who are open to pursuing any career path,... Read More
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[weird, informal] What would change in EA under the assumption of quantum immortality?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_suicide_and_immortality Tl;dr: Assuming that the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is accurate and that practically every life-threatening situation has some chance of being survived no matter how remote, SUBJECTIVE experience will continue indefinitely for all people even as a vast, vast majority of external observers will see them die. This... Read More
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Cash transfers are not necessarily wealth transfers

Here’s a common argument: The problem with the poor is that they haven’t got enough money. There’s ample empirical evidence backing this up. Therefore, the obviously-correct poverty intervention is to simply give the poor cash. You might be able to do better than this, but it’s a solid baseline and... Read More
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Interview with Prof Tetlock on epistemic modesty, predicting catastrophic risks, AI, and more

80,000 Hours did an interview with Professor Tetlock, one of the world's top experts on how to have accurate beliefs about the future. We asked him about a bunch of questions of interest to the community here: Should people who want to be right just adopt the views of experts rather than... Read More
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Status Regulation and Anxious Underconfidence

Previous: Against Modest Epistemology   I’ve now given my critique of modesty as a set of explicit doctrines. I’ve tried to give the background theory, which I believe is nothing more than conventional cynical economics, that explains why so many aspects of the world are not optimized to the limits... Read More
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Against Modest Epistemology

Previous: Blind Empiricism   Modest epistemology doesn’t need to reflect a skepticism about causal models as such. It can manifest instead as a wariness about putting weight down on  one’s own causal models, as opposed to others'. In 1976, Robert Aumann demonstrated that two ideal Bayesian reasoners with the same priors... Read More
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Blind Empiricism

Previous: Living in an Inadequate World   The thesis that needs to be contrasted with modesty is not the assertion that everyone can beat their civilization all the time. It’s not that we should be the sort of person who sees the world as mad and pursues the strategy of... Read More
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Living in an Inadequate World

Previous: Moloch's Toolbox ( pt. 1 , pt. 2 )   Be warned: Trying to put together a background model like the one I sketched in the previous chapter is a pretty perilous undertaking, especially if you don’t have a professional economist checking your work at every stage. Suppose I... Read More
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Modesty and diversity: a concrete suggestion

In online discussions, the number of upvotes or likes a contribution receives is often highly correlated with the social status of the author within that community. This makes the community less epistemically diverse, and can contribute to feelings of groupthink or hero worship . Yet both the author of a... Read More

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