Announcing AI Safety Support

Con­tents:

  1. What is AI Safety Support

  2. Dis­cus­sion Days

  3. Other On­line Events

  4. AI Safety Resources

  5. Men­tor­ship Program

  6. AI Align­ment Slack

  7. Con­sider Donating

What is AI Safety Support

AI Safety Sup­port has ex­isted as an In­cor­po­rated As­so­ci­a­tion in Aus­tralia since Oc­to­ber and as an ini­ti­a­tive with a web page since May 2020.

Our aim is to fill the gaps in that AI Safety ca­reer pipeline. We aim to provide op­er­a­tional sup­port to early ca­reer and tran­si­tion­ing re­searchers, so you can en­gage with the com­mu­nity and test your ca­reer fit­ness. Broadly we just want to help re­duce fric­tion and en­able peo­ple to do the things you are already try­ing to achieve.

If you are new to AI Safety, we would be happy to talk to you, and to help you figure out what steps to take next. We don’t have all the an­swers, but we can prob­a­bly provide you with a bet­ter map of the ca­reer land­scape.

Feel free to reach out or book a call with ei­ther one of us:

Dis­cus­sion Days

Our longest run­ning pro­ject (since June) are our reg­u­lar on­line AI Safety Dis­cus­sion Days. Each of these events has a talk, an Ice­breaker ses­sion and break­out dis­cus­sions cov­er­ing what­ever is on your mind at the time.

The Dis­cus­sion Days fo­cus on on­go­ing re­search. If you have some ideas you want feed­back on, you are wel­come to pre­sent them as a talk or bring them up dur­ing the break­out dis­cus­sions. How­ever, you are also wel­come to just listen and learn, or maybe give feed­back on other peo­ple’s ideas.

Sched­ule:

  • Se­cond Mon­day ev­ery month, UTC 18:0021:30 (Europe/​Africa and Amer­i­cas friendly time)

  • Fourth Mon­day ev­ery month (ex­cept De­cem­ber), UTC 08:0011:30 (Asia/​Pa­cific and Europe/​Africa friendly time)

The next one is on Mon­day, Novem­ber 23th.

Other On­line Events

We are not the only one run­ning on­line AI Safety events these days. We’re col­lect­ing all on­line AI Safety and ad­ja­cent events we know about in this shared cal­en­dar. No­tice that some events re­quire reg­is­tra­tion or ap­pli­ca­tion.

If you know of other on­line AI Safety events, please let us know.

To stay up to date with new in­for­ma­tion, I highly recom­mend sign­ing up to the Align­ment Newslet­ter and 80k’s AI Safety group.

How­ever, there are also lots of more static re­sources scat­tered around the in­ter­net, such as study guides and re­search agen­das. I’ve tried to list them all here (though I’m still adding things). Let us know if we for­got some­thing, or mis­cat­e­go­rized some­thing.

Men­tor­ship Program

We have spo­ken to a num­ber of peo­ple who want some men­tor­ship and to oth­ers who are in­ter­ested in men­tor­ing. So, we are ex­per­i­ment­ing with a new men­tor­ship pro­gram to try to bring these peo­ple to­gether. Men­tors and mentees can re­spec­tively offer and ask for any­thing they like so this works best if we have more peo­ple to match.

As a rule of thumb, if you are at least a 3rd year PhD stu­dent, or an in­de­pen­dent re­searcher with a few pub­li­ca­tions, then you can be a men­tor. You might not think you are very se­nior, but re­mem­ber that AI Safety is a very new feld, so you are already more se­nior than most.

We have no rules for who can be a mentee. The more ex­pe­rience you have, the harder it will be for us to find a men­tor who knows more than you, but who­ever you are, we’ll try to find some­one to help you. How­ever, try to be as spe­cific as you can about what you want to get out of the men­tor­ship. For ex­am­ple, maybe you have a re­search pro­ject in mind that you want to do?

You can sign up for both!

Signup dead­line for the first round is Novem­ber 30th. We will con­tact ev­ery­one and pair you up dur­ing De­cem­ber, so ex­pect the ac­tual men­tor­ing to start no ear­lier than Jan­uary.

When or if we do a sec­ond round de­pends en­tirely on the in­ter­est we get in the first round, both from men­tors and mentees.

AI Align­ment Slack

We can’t take credit for the ex­is­tence of this Slack group, since it was cre­ated by An­drei Alexan­dru. But we are helping to grow it, and mak­ing use of it as a place to com­mu­ni­cate, ask ques­tions, dis­cuss re­search, and gen­er­ally help each other out.

In this Slack you’ll find two chan­nels ded­i­cated to our Dis­cus­sion Days, one for gen­eral fol­low-up dis­cus­sions, and one for ask­ing ques­tions of the last speaker.

We have one chan­nel ded­i­cated to grad school ap­pli­ca­tion. One idea we have around this is that it would be benefi­cial for AI Safety-in­ter­ested stu­dents to end up in the same pro­gram, which is more likely to hap­pen with some com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­or­di­na­tion.

There are also chan­nels for find­ing study bud­dies, per­sonal in­tro­duc­tion, sev­eral sub-field spe­cific dis­cus­sions and more.

Con­sider Donating

Since April and June re­spec­tively we have both spent most of our work­ing time on AI Safety Sup­port. We can not do this work while also hav­ing to hold down sep­a­rate jobs, and the peo­ple we are helping are mostly stu­dents with lit­tle to no in­come. We are there­fore rely­ing on dona­tions to be able to con­tinue this work. On top of that, a large-ish dona­tion we were ex­pect­ing has been de­layed for an un­known amount of time, which means dona­tions we get now would be ex­tra helpful.

There are a few ways you can donate. We have ac­counts on both Pa­treon and Ko-fi, for con­ve­nient reg­u­lar dona­tions. Both these plat­forms have some trans­ac­tion costs, how­ever. If you pre­fer send­ing us money more di­rectly, just let us know.

A third way you can donate to us is though Re­think Char­ity. This op­tion will make your dona­tion tax de­ductible if you live in Canada or US. If you want to donate more than $1000 through Re­think Char­ity, please email them first, so they can find the best method to donate for you. Re­gard­less of the amount you will need to let Re­think Char­ity know that your dona­tion was meant for AI Safety Sup­port. (Please only use this op­tion if you can take ad­van­tage of the tax de­duc­tions.)

If you are donat­ing from some­where else and want tax benefits, let us know, and we will try to ar­range some­thing.

Donors look­ing to sup­port our pro­ject through a US based Donor Ad­vised Fund can do so by send­ing their dona­tion to Re­think Char­ity (EIN 82-5325150). If you need any as­sis­tance dona­tion sup­port is available by emailing Siob­han Bren­ton.

Thank you!

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