AMA: Ajeya Cotra, researcher at Open Phil

[EDIT: Thanks for the questions everyone! Just noting that I’m mostly done answering questions, and there were a few that came in Tuesday night or later that I probably won’t get to.]

Hi everyone! I’m Ajeya, and I’ll be doing an Ask Me Anything here. I’ll plan to start answering questions Monday Feb 1 at 10 AM Pacific. I will be blocking off much of Monday and Tuesday for question-answering, and may continue to answer a few more questions through the week if there are ones left, though I might not get to everything.

About me: I’m a Senior Research Analyst at Open Philanthropy, where I focus on cause prioritization and AI. 80,000 Hours released a podcast episode with me last week discussing some of my work, and last September I put out a draft report on AI timelines which is discussed in the podcast. Currently, I’m trying to think about AI threat models and how much x-risk reduction we could expect the “last long-termist dollar” to buy. I joined Open Phil in the summer of 2016, and before that I was a student at UC Berkeley, where I studied computer science, co-ran the Effective Altruists of Berkeley student group, and taught a student-run course on EA.

I’m most excited about answering questions related to AI timelines, AI risk more broadly, and cause prioritization, but feel free to ask me anything!