EA Organization Updates: August 2019
These monthly posts originated as the “Updates” section of the Effective Altruism Newsletter.
• Added about 150 new jobs to their job board.
• Interviewed the machine learning researcher and polymath Paul Christiano about a range of topics.
• Published a full rewrite of its review of philosophy PhDs and academia (written by their most recent hire, Arden Koehler).
• Investigated why it is that job candidates often don’t seem replaceable, even when many people apply for a given role.
Animal Charity Evaluators
Animal Charity Evaluators published their biannual Recommended Charity Fund update, as well as a blog post by ACE Researcher Maria Salazar on the importance of wildlife biology as a source of knowledge on reducing wild animal suffering. They also published a roundtable interview with some of their 2019 interns.
Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative
BERI is currently hiring for two positions:
The Operations Manager will be responsible for the reliable and efficient functioning of finance and internal operations. They will also ensure that information is transparent and accessible to BERI’s funders, board of directors, auditors, accountants, legal counsel, and other interested parties.
The Project Manager will be a generalist capable of working on any of BERI’s existing or forthcoming projects.
Center for Human-Compatible AI
Steven Wang, Adam Gleave, and Sam Toyer released the imitation learning library on Github.
Siddharth Srivastava was a co-author for a paper published in the proceedings of IJCAI 2019: “Why Can’t You Do That, HAL? Explaining Unsolvability of Planning Tasks.”
Rohin Shah and Ben Cottier published “Clarifying some key hypotheses in AI alignment” on the Alignment Forum.
Centre for Effective Altruism
The Tech team deployed several updates to the EA Forum, including a “Shortform” feature that encourages brief exploratory posts.
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
Simon Beard and Haydn Belfield discussed climate change and existential risk on the FLI podcast.
CSER held a Decision Theory and AI workshop and released a major new report on how governments can better understand catastrophic risks, which was covered by Vox and the Telegraph. (They have also briefed UK and US policymakers directly.)
Charity Entrepreneurship completed their two-month incubation program. You can meet the participants here. As a result of the program, five new EA charities were created, two of which — Animal Advocacy Careers and the Fish Welfare Initiative — recently gave presentations at CARE 2019.
Future of Humanity Institute
Ben Garfinkel and Allan Dafoe’s paper on the offense-defense balance was published in the Journal of Strategic Studies.
Future of Life Institute
FLI released two new podcasts on artificial intelligence and China: China’s AI Superpower Dream and Beyond the Arms Race Narrative. They also published an article on getting AI to understand human values and a summary of Pax’s new report on military collaboration in the tech sector.
GiveWell decided to grant the $2.3 million in discretionary funding it received from donors in the second quarter of 2019 to the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF). You can details on the decision, and on how GiveWell expects AMF to use this funding, in this blog post.
Global Priorities Institute
Good Food Institute
Dr. Liz Specht published multiple articles for a wide audience: “We don’t have to give up burgers to address climate change” (Newsweek) and “Alt-Meat Trounces Animal Meat’s Massive Inefficiencies” (Wired).
Jessica Almy collaborated with Brian Hauss of the ACLU to publish an article on Buzzfeed: The Meat Industry Wants To Censor Your Veggie Burger.
Open Philanthropy Project
The Open Philanthropy Project collected a series of questions they like to ask themselves bout potential funding opportunities. They also looked at food companies’ progress in following through on their pledges to eliminate battery cages for egg-laying hens.
Rethink Priorities recently published an analysis of the cost-effectiveness of corporate campaigns in improving welfare for chickens. They followed this up by analyzing the breakdown of progress in that space by region, year, and industry.
Rethink Grants published its first evaluation (on the Donational corporate giving platform), featuring a custom cost-effectiveness model.
RC Forward raised over $450,000 CAD in Q2 donations to high-impact charities.
The Life You Can Save (Giving Games Project)
Giving Games launched the Altruistic Accounting Project. A detailed impact report and short summary are available on the new landing page. The results show a positive shift in students’ attitudes towards effective giving, and their plans to use their donations and careers effectively.
Wild Animal Initiative
Wild Animal Initiative completed its leadership transition, hiring Michelle Graham as executive director and Cameron Meyer Shorb as deputy director.
Add your own update
If your organization isn’t represented in this list, you’re welcome to provide an update in a comment.
You can also email me if you’d like to be included on the list of organizations I ask for updates each month; I can then add any updates you submit to future posts. (I may not accept all such requests; whether I include an org depends on its size, age, focus, track record, etc.)