Thanks for doing this!When comparing whites and non-whites, did you do anything to control for location.I noticed non-whites ranked EAG as less important. Could this be becasue they are more likely to live far away from EAG events?Or maybe there are so few EAs living in non-white majority countries, that they don’t skew the statistic? I.e. non-white EAs in majority white countries massively outnumber non-white EAs in non-white majority countries?
That would also give you all the drawbacks of grantsSee “Reasons to evaluate a project after it is completed” in the original postIf you want to give me a living wage without me first having to prove my self in some way, please give me money. For most people, grants aren’t simply “available”. There has to be some evidence. This can be provided either by arguing your case (normal grant application) or by just doing the work. I think many people (including me) would prefer to just do the work, and let that speak for itself (for the reasons explained in the original post).
But I’d love to be proven wrong here.
I claim we have proof of concept. The people who started the existing AI Safety research orgs did not have AI Safety mentors. Current independent researcher have more support than they had. In a way an org is just a crystalized collaboration of previously independent researchers. I think that there are some PR reasons why it would be good if most AI Safety researchers where part of academia or other respectable orgs (e.g. DeepMind). But I also think it is good to have a minority of researchers who are disconnected from the particular pressures of that environment.However, being part of academia is not the same as being part of an AI Safety org. MIRI people are not part of academia, and someone doing AI Safety research as part of their PhD in a “normal” (not AI Safety focused) PhD program, is sorta an independent researcher.
The main way I could see myself getting more excited about long-term independent research is if we saw flourishing communities forming amongst independent researchers.
We are working on that. I’m not optimistic about current orgs keeping up with the growth of the field, and I don’t think it is healthy for the career to be too competitive, since this will lead to goodhearted on career intensives. But I do think a looser structure, built on personal connections rather than formal org employment, can grow in a much more flexible way, and we are experimenting with various methods to make this happen.
I’m not going to lead this, but would be happy to join.
I’ve been told a few time that I belong in the group organizers slack, but never actually felt at home there, because I feel like I’m doing something very different from most group organizers. The main requirement of such a chat is that it attracts other ecosystem organizers, which is a marketing problem more than a logistical problem. There are lots of platforms that would be adequate.Making a separate ecosystem slack channel in the group organizer slack, and marketing it here, may work (30% chance of success), and since it is low effort, it seems worth a try.A some what higher effort, but also higher expected payoff, would be to find all ecosystem organizers, contact them personally and invite them to a group call. Or invite them to fill in a when2meet for deciding when to have said group call.
Thanks for the much improved source!
We (AI Safety Support) are literally doing all these things
There is no CEA for people working on AI safety, that creates websites, discussion platforms, conferences, connects mentors, surveys members etc.
I don’t blame DavidNash for not knowing about us. I did not know about EA Consultancy Network. So maybe what we need is a meta ecosystem for ecosystems? There is a slack group for local group organizer, and a local group directory at EA Hub. Similarly, it would be nice to have a dedicated chat some for ecosystem organizer, and a public directory somewhere.CEA has said that they are currently not focusing on supporting this type of projects (source: privet conversation). So if someone want to set it up, just go for it! And let me know if I can help.
That’s surprisingly short, which is great by the way. I think most grants are not like this. That is, you can increase your chance of funding by spending a lot of time polishing a application, which leads to a sort of arms-raise among applicants where more and more time are wasted on polishing applications.I’m happy to hear that LTFF do not reward such behavior. On the other hand, the same dynamic will still happen as long as people don’t know that more polish will not help.
You can probably save a lot of time on the side of the applicants by:
Stating how much time you recommend people spend on the application
Share some examples of successful applications (with the permission of the applicant) to show others what level and style of wringing to aim for.
I understand that no one application will be perfectly representative, but even just one example would still help, and several examples would help even more. Preferably if the examples are examples of good enough, rather than optimal writing, assuming that you want people to be satisfyzers, rather than maximizes with regards to application writing quality.
What do you think is a reasonable amount of time to spend on an application to the LFTT?
What percentage of people who are applying for a transition grant from something else to AI Safety, get approved? Anything you want to add to put this number in context? What percentage of people who are applying for funding for independent AI Safety research, get approved? Anything you want to add to put this number in context?
For example, if there is a clear category of people who don’t get funding, becasue they clearly want to do something different than saving the long term future, than this would be useful contextual information.
I want to see a compelling case that there’s not an organisation that would be a good home for the applicant.
My impression is that it is not possible for everyone who want to help with the long term ti get hired by an org, for the simple reason that there are not enough openings at those orgs. At least in AI Safety, all entry level jobs are very competitive, meaning that not getting in is not a strong signal that one could not have done well there.
Do you disagree with this?
What do you mean by “There haven’t previously been many options available”? What is stopping you from just giving people money? Why do you need an institute as middle hand?
What type of funding opportunities related to AI Safety would OpenPhil want to see more of?Anything else you can tell me about the funding situation with regards to AI Safety. I’m very confused about why not more people and projects get funded. Is because there is not enough money, or if there is some bottleneck related to evaluation and/or trust?
Edit: I’ve posted before reading others comments. Others have already made this an similar points.Here is a story of how ethical offsetting can be effective.I was trying to decide if I should fly or go by train. Flying is much faster and slightly cheaper, but train is much more environmentally friendly. With out the option of environmental offset, I have no idea how to compare these values, i.e. [my time and money] v.s. [direct environmental effect of flying]. What I did was to calculate what offsetting would cost, and it turned out to be around one USD, so basically nothing. I could now conclude that:Flying + offsetting > Going by trainBecause I would save time, and I could easily afford to offset more than the harm I would do by flying, and still pay less in total.Now, since I’m an EA I could also do the next stepFlying + donating to the most effective thing > Flying + offsetting > Going by train.But I needed at least the idea of offsetting to simplify the calculation to something I could manage my self in an afternoon. In the first step I compare things that are similar enough so the comparison is mostly straight forward. The second step is actually super complicated, but it’s the sort of thing EAs has been doing for year, so for this I can fall back on others. But I’m not sure how I would have done the direct comparison between [flying + donating] v.s. [going by train]. I’m sure it’s doable some how, but with the middle step, it was so much much easier.
Hi GuyI’d be happy to talk to you. I’m co-founder of AI Safety Support, a new organization dedicated to helping people who want help with AI Safety. I’d like so see how we can help you, and learn from you how we can better support people in your situation. Please reach out by mail, or book a call or both.
AI Safety Support are doing an AI Safety Carers Bottleneck survay. Please help us spread it around. We want responses from anyone who are currently doing AI Safety work, or would like to do so in the future.It only takes 5-20 minutes to answer (these are empirical numbers).https://www.guidedtrack.com/programs/n8cydtu/run
Funding proposal: AI Safety Support Our goal is to enable aspiring AI Safety researchers to do the things they are trying to achieve. We provide operational and community support to early career and transitioning researchers to fill gaps in the AI Safety career pipeline. (For more info, see this blogpost)
Suggested donation: Anything in the range $30k - $60k. We would not turn away smaller amounts, since we are not trying to get fully funded from a single donation anyway. But you suggested $30k as a lower limit.Regarding “Relative opinions”, I’m happy to discuss that in a private, if you want.
Edit: I don’t think this reasoning applies to us anyway. Though I’m happy to talk anyway.
Here is a number of EA funding requests
An aspect of the funding problem is that money allocation is bad everywhere. (On a larger scale, the market mostly woks, but if you get into the details of being a human wanting to trade your time for money, most things around job applications and grant applications, is more or less terrible.) If we design a system that don’t suck, over time EA will attract people who are here for the money not for the mission. A solution should have the feature:1) It don’t suck if you are EA aligned2) If you are not EA aligned it should not be easier to get money from us than from other places. (It is possible to get non EA aligned people to do EA aligned actions. But that require an very different level of oversight.)I think a grant lottery, where the barrier to entry is to have done some significant amount of EA volunteer work or EA donation or similar, would be an awesome experiment.