This post contains the abstract and executive summary of a new 96-page paper from authors at the Future of Humanity Institute and OpenAI.
In many contexts, lying – the use of verbal falsehoods to deceive – is harmful. While lying has traditionally been a human affair, AI systems that make sophisticated verbal statements are becoming increasingly prevalent. This raises the question of how we should limit the harm caused by AI “lies” (i.e. falsehoods that are actively selected for). Human truthfulness is governed by social norms and by laws (against defamation, perjury, and fraud). Differences between AI and humans present an opportunity to have more precise standards of truthfulness for AI, and to have these standards rise over time. This could provide significant benefits to public epistemics and...
The idea of progress fell out of favor in the course of the 20th century. But when exactly, and why?
For two centuries the Western world has been sustained by a profound belief in the doctrine of progress. Although God the Father had withdrawn into the places where Absolute Being dwells, it was still possible to maintain that the Idea or the Dialectic or Natural Law, functioning through the conscious purposes or the unconscious activities of men, could be counted on to safeguard mankind against future hazards. However formulated, with whatever apparatus of philosophic or scientific terminology
I appreciate Zoe Curzi's revelations of her experience with Leverage. I know how hard it is to speak up when no or few others do, and when people are trying to keep things under wraps.
I haven't posted much publicly about my experiences working as a researcher at MIRI (2015-2017) or around CFAR events, to a large degree because I've been afraid. Now that Zoe has posted about her experience, I find it easier to do so, especially after the post was generally well-received by LessWrong.
I felt moved to write this, not just because of Zoe's post, but also because of Aella's commentary:
I've found established rationalist communities to have excellent norms that prevent stuff like what happened at Leverage. The times where it gets weird is typically when
This is an essay about one of those "once you see it, you will see it everywhere" phenomena. It is a psychological and interpersonal dynamic roughly as common, and almost as destructive, as motte-and-bailey, and at least in my own personal experience it's been quite valuable to have it reified, so that I can quickly recognize the commonality between what I had previously thought of as completely unrelated situations.
The original quote referenced in the title is "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
Gyroscopes are weird.
Except they're not. They're quite normal and mundane and straightforward. The weirdness of gyroscopes is a map-territory confusion—gyroscopes seem weird because my map is poorly made, and predicts that they will do something other than their normal,...
It surprises me that when people think of "software that brings about the singularity" they think of text models, or of RL agents. But they sneer at decision tree boosting and the like as boring algorithms for boring problems.
To me, this seems counter-intuitive, and the fact that most people researching ML are interested in subjects like vision and language is flabergasting. For one, because getting anywhere productive in these fields is really hard, for another, because their usefulness seems relatively minimal.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, human brains are very good at the stuff they've been doing for a long time. This ranges from things like controlling a human-like body to things like writing prose and poetry. Seneca was as good of a philosophy...
This was written for the Vignettes Workshop. The goal is to write out a detailed future history (“trajectory”) that is as realistic (to me) as I can currently manage, i.e. I’m not aware of any alternative trajectory that is similarly detailed and clearly more plausible to me. The methodology is roughly: Write a future history of 2022. Condition on it, and write a future history of 2023. Repeat for 2024, 2025, etc. (I'm posting 2022-2026 now so I can get feedback that will help me write 2027+. I intend to keep writing until the story reaches singularity/extinction/utopia/etc.)
What’s the point of doing this? Well, there are a couple of reasons:
“My own heuristics for working in politics are: focus, ‘know yourself’ (don’t fool yourself), think operationally, work extremely hard, ... and ask yourself ‘to be or to do?’” - DC
Dominic Cummings is fascinating for four reasons. One, he is extremely committed to truth-seeking but from a different perspective than most of LW. Two, he has a shocking amount of real-world “success”, especially for a truth-seeker. Three, he fills the missing niche of trying to describe what government is actually like, to great effect. Four, he has uniquely powerful ideas about how to do project management well and how to fix government.
At the very least, he is extremely thought-provoking, and provides tons of value to >30% of people around me who try reading or listening to him.
One occasionally hears some concerns about falling testosteron/sperm counts, usually in some narrative about the Good Olden days when Men were still real Men, etc. It sounds a little like ' they are turning the frogs gay' type of stuff, but perhaps there is something to the scientific claim after all.
EDIT: It seems my phrasing has unnecessarily antagonized people. Please believe this is a good-faith question. Also, after researching the issue I have become significantly more concerned than before.
I wrote a post about going without a phone for 10 days. Ten days have now passed, and I'm evaluating my options. This post is about my experience being phoneless and my thoughts about having a phone moving forward.
The last ten days have been extraordinarily peaceful! After a break-in phase of frequently checking my pant pocket for a phantom phone, I began to feel more at ease. After about three days, I felt a calmness that I hadn't enjoyed since middle school. After a week, I became more aware of the passage of time -- my days felt closer to a single drawn-out experience, as opposed to a cluttered collection of moments. During errands, I was forced to spend time waiting for as long as 30 minutes....