CEEALAR Fundraiser 9: Concrete outputs after 29 months
We have compiled a list of concrete outputs that CEEALAR residents have produced during their stays.
While the output per dollar is high, this might not be the best metric. A better metric might be marginal output divided by marginal output for a counterfactual donation, but this is hard to estimate. Useful proxies might be output per person-day, and signals of future career potential.
This list doesn’t cover everything of value that has been supported by CEEALAR. Some residents have spent months working on things they haven’t published yet. Some have spent time doing self-therapy, reading books and articles, or having a lot of research conversations. Some have been developing presentations and workshops, or ideas for new charities. To increase transparency, guests are encouraged to share informal progress updates (presented in embedded Google Docs on our website), to give outsiders an idea of what they are doing with their time. There is also the benefit of CEEALAR acting as an EA community hub and a focal point for networking.
Outputs are presented along with their counterfactual likelihood of happening without CEEALAR. This gives an idea of the value CEEALAR is adding, especially considering most residents would have been doing less in the way of EA-focused work without CEEALAR.
An up-to-date, live version of the list of outputs can be found at ceealar.org/outputs.
Total expenses as of October 2020
Money: So far ~£170,200 has been spent on hosting our residents, of which ~£24,200 was contributed by residents.
Time: ~11,800 person-days spent at CEEALAR.
Summary of concrete outputs, since CEEALAR’s inception in May 2018
The incubation of 3 EA projects with potential for scaling (including CEEALAR);
23 online course modules followed;
2.5 online course modules produced;
102 posts on the EA Forum, Less Wrong and the AI Alignment Forum (with a total of ~2500 karma);
5 papers published, 2 preprints, 1 submission and 1 revision;
23 other pieces of writing, including blogs, reports and talks;
5 code repositories contributed to;
5 AI Safety / X-risk events, 1 rationality workshop and 2 EA retreats organised and hosted; 2 EA retreats organised;
3 internships and 5 jobs earned at EA organisations; 2 PhD places earned.
For the full list see the dedicated CEEALAR page here.
New outputs as of October 2020
Here we present new outputs since our last summary; those from November 2019 - October 2020. (Note there are some outputs that are on our outputs page but are not included in any of our summaries as they are backdated).
Expenses for this period:
Money: ~£59,800 has been spent on hosting our residents, of which ~£6,100 was contributed by residents.
Time: ~4,100 person-days spent at CEEALAR (note that this is an average of ~11 people at CEEALAR over this period, as opposed to ~17 for the last update, down to a reduction in numbers resultant from the pandemic).
AI Safety related
Thinking of tool AIs [0%] (5)
Wireheading and discontinuity [25%] (22;10)
Contributions to the sequence Thoughts on Goal-Directedness [25%]
Goals and short descriptions [25%] (9;5)
Decision Theory is multifaceted [25%] (6;4)
Organized the AI Safety Technical Unconference (October 2019)
Some Comments on “Goodhart Taxonomy” [1%] (9;4)
NLP implementations [5%]
enrolled in the Open University’s bachelor degree Computing & IT and Design
Defined a recruitment plan for a researcher-writer role and publicized a job ad [90%]
Organised AI Strategy and X-Risk Unconference (AIXSU) [1%]
The ‘far future’ is not just the far future [99%] (29)
State Space of X-Risk Trajectories [95%] (24)
Collaborated on 14 other Convergence publications [97%]
Published or provided the primarily ideas for and directed the publishing of 19 EA/LW forum posts (see our publications document for more details: Convergence publications) [80%] (~30 average)
(First two with coauthors; first and third mostly written before arriving at CEEALAR.)
Four components of strategy research [50%] (18)
Value uncertainty [95%] (17)
Helped Launch the Food Systems Handbook (announcement)
Rationality & Community Building related
The End of Education [1%]
Patrick Collison on Effective Altruism [1%] (60)
The Case for Education [1%] (13)
Interned as a mental health research analyst at Charity Entrepreneurship [50%]
Incubatee and graduate of Charity Entrepreneurship 2020 Incubation Program [50%]
Global Health & Development related
Audited M208 (Pure Maths) Linear Algebra and Real Analysis, The Open University.
Applied to a number of PhD programmes in Economics, and took up a place at Glasgow University
Evaluating use cases for human challenge trials in accelerating SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development. Clinical Infectious Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa935 [70%]
Some of the content of https://1daysooner.org/ [70%]
Option-based guarantees to accelerate urgent, high risk vaccines: A new market-shaping approach [Preprint]. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/swd4a [70%]
Modelling the Health and Economic Impacts of Population-Wide Testing, Contact Tracing and Isolation (PTTI) Strategies for COVID-19 in the UK [Preprint]. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3627273
Some confidential COVID-19-related policy reports. [70%]
Parts of the Survey of COVID-19 Responses to Understand Behaviour (SCRUB) https://www.scrubcovid19.org/
A confidential evaluation of an anxiety app. [90%]
Various unpublished documents for the Happier Lives Institute. [80%]
Animal Welfare related
Applied to a number of PhD programs in Philosophy and took up a place at Oxford University (Researching “Personal Identity, Value, and Ethics for Animals and AIs”). [40%]
Accepted to give a talk and a poster to the academic session of EAG 2020 in San Francisco.
Published an essay, Re-Orientation, about some of the possible personal and societal implications of sexual orientation conversion drugs that actually work. [90%]
Events made possible by CEEALAR
AI Strategy and X-Risk Unconference (AIXSU)
Testimonials from Grantees
“I think the biggest impact EA Hotel [CEEALAR] did for me, was about self growth. I got a lot of help to improve, but also the time and freedom to explore. I tried some projects that did not lead anywhere, like Code to Give. But getting to explore was necessary for me to figure out what to do. I finally landed on organising, which I’m still doing. AI Safety Support probably would not have existed with out the hotel.”
“The time at the Hotel [CEEALAR] was incredibly valuable to me. Counterfactually – if I wasn’t at the Hotel – I would have probably only been able to complete half of the Maths/Stats I learned. I probably wouldn’t have applied to any of the scholarships/grants/fellowships because I heard about them via residents at the Hotel. I also probably wouldn’t have had time to focus on completing my older research papers. Similarly, discussions with other residents spurred the new research ideas I’m working on.”
Do you like this initiative, and want to see it continue for longer, on a more stable footing? Do you want to cheaply buy time spent working full-time on work relating to EA, whilst facilitating a thriving EA community hub? Do you want to see more work in the same vein as the above? Then we would like to ask for your support.
We are hoping to build up our reserves to 12 months of runway. Our estimated shortfall is ~£5k/month from June onward (assuming numbers pick up with a decline in the pandemic by then). See our fundraiser page for more details.
As a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1189768), donations to us are tax deductible as of 6th December 2019.
If you’d like to give regular support, we are on Ko-Fi.
Contact us to donate directly via bank transfer and save in currency conversion losses (The preceding options have 0% fees and ~2% currency conversion losses. Revolut and Transferwise are good options with 0-1% losses in fees and currency exchange. Convert to GBP before sending.)
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*this is the total cost of the project to date, not including the purchase of the building (£132,276.95 including building survey and conveyancing)