I’ve been involved (in some capacity) with most of the publications at the Centre for the Governance of AI at FHI coming out over the past 1.5 years. I’d say that for most of our research there is someone outside the EA community involved. Reasonably often, one or more of the authors of the piece wouldn’t identify as part of the EA community. As for input to the work: If it is academically published, we’d get input from reviewers. We also seek additional input for all our work from folks we think will be able to provide useful input. This often includes academics we know in relevant fields. (This of course leads to a bit of a selection effect)
Actually, the paper has already been published in Global Policy (and in a very similar form to the one linked above): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.12718.
I have similar worries about making the high-tech panopticon too sticky a meme. I’ve updated slightly against this being a problem since there’s been very little reporting on the paper. The only thing I’ve seen so far is this article from Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/dda3537e-01de-11e9-99df-6183d3002ee1. It reports on the paper in a very nuanced way.
Good suggestion. Do you know if other EA orgs have tried it out and if so, how it panned out? It seems a little odd to do, if you assume that the referee and the relevant organisation have broadly aligned interests.
I have some familiarity with the org. Happy to chat to people who are considering applying.
I got a sense of some of the considerations to keep in mind when thinking about this question. But I didn’t get a sense of whether collapse of democracy is more or less likely than before. Did you update some direction? Does Runciman have a strong view either way?
I think what really filters down the number of candidates significantly is that most organizations want to fill ops-roles with people who are able to do their job very autonomously. This means that a premium is put on something like value-alignment and good judgment. These two factors significantly narrows down the talent pool.
Yeah, I agree that we’ve gone for quite a top-down rather than bottom-up approach. Though less so than in the UK case. There, my understanding is that the APPG was started only after having arranged 1-on-1 meetings with the relevant MPs.
My intuition is that it will be difficult to cause change in this area by driving popular opinion, but you might need some public opinion behind it to make it stick. To be crass, I would expect politicians to be able to wrangle very few votes by spear-heading initiatives such as these.
I have not, though Jones et al 2018 has (this is the paper written by the same people who worked to set up the APPG in the UK). They say of the Read proposal that “We encountered several ideas which we do not include above, for various reasons. One of these is the proposal for a “third house of parliament”, or “Guardians”, made by Rupert Read (Read 2012). Under Read’s proposal these Guardians, appointed randomly amongst citizens on the same principle as juries, would have the power to (a) veto new legislation that threatened the basic needs and fundamental interests of future people, and (b) force a review of any existing legislation that threatens such needs and interests. He also suggests similar structures within local governments. As we found previously, institutions with veto powers did not last long, and as such we do not think this “third house of parliament” would be workable. In addition, we share concerns raised by Michael Bartlet about the proposed method of selection by lot (Bartlet, 2012).”
To give some context on veto powers not lasting long, the Hungarian Commissioner was removed with four years and the Israeli commissioner lasted about five years. Both of these had quite strong powers that they actually used, which seems to have made them politically controversial and had them removed after the next election.
Another crucial point here is what types of policies you think are going to be most impactful to work on. If you want to focus on environmental issues, I can see the allure of institutions that are given a lot of power. The bottleneck is not agenda-setting but rather closer to the right bills not being voted through. If you’re more concerned about other GCRs, institutions or tweaks focusing on agenda-setting will be more interesting, such as the APPG.
Yep, I would say there is definitely overlap. At the very least between the Ombudsman and the Future Commission. They would both serve as checks. I think (and am not sure whether the others in the project would agree with this), we do not need to think about all of these as a package. If I could wave a magic wand and implement a set of institutional changes, I would likely be in favour of a different package. Instead, we’ve recommended things that fit well together where we would be incredibly pleased if one or two would be implemented.
One of the main things we’re doing now is thinking about how to get to implementation of these recommendations. My view is that we need to keep building a coalition with other organisations (e.g. environment-focused think tanks). On top of this, we need to keep finding allies among the MPs.
I think that’s a great idea! We’ll likely spend the next few months taking a step back and deciding on how we’re gonna be pushing for our recommendations. One really simple communications tactic would likely be to do some polling.
There are links missing from the EA Community Fund post to the OpenPhil writeups on 80k and CEA.
Thanks for this, Joey!
I’d be very keen to see more thorough data on this, for example:
To what extent is 80k’s pivot away from recommending Management Consulting due to value drift?
My impression is that one of the reasons to focus less on GWWC has been attrition (i.e. value drift in these terms). Does anyone have access to those figures?
Would e.g. CEA or 80k be able to carry out a retrospective study on this?
Even more awesome would be to conduct a longitudinal cohort study on the topic.
Just noticed this, so sorry for the late reply! I (through EA Sweden) was the recipients of an EA Community Fund grant a few months back. I’ll just say a few things about the grant, some general thoughts about the EA Community Fund and am happy to answer any questions you might have!
I’d say that there was a bit more information to go on than simply Will having seen me do EA group organizing over the past 5 or so years: I also provided a project proposal. However, I’d agree with the impression that the main factor in making the grant was about trust and first-hand knowledge of my work in the past.
If you wanna know more about what we’ve been up to, you can read our plans for the year (as of February) here: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1kf/effective_altruism_sweden_plans_for_2018/
Abstracting from my particular situation, there currently seem to be growing pains in the EA community building-space. My impression is that the bottleneck is not good projects to fund, but rather ability to consider proposals and allocate funds. I think making funding decisions in the community building-space based largely on trust and proven track record is a good heuristic. However, it won’t be particularly scalable and so needs to be supplemented by more time-intensive methods.
Given the small size of the EA Community Fund, it seems unreasonable for Nick Beckstead to be managing it. Once CEA is able to allocate their EA Community Building Grants effectively, I’d recommend the EA Community Fund being allocated by CEA rather than Nick Beckstead.
Cost-Effectiveness Analysis :)
The org’s I can remember off the top of my head are: EA Sweden (that’s me), EA Geneva, EA London, EA China, EA Netherlands (used to have full-time staff, but don’t anymore) and EA Australia.
I’m excluding CEA, EAF and Rethink Charity here.
I think this might be a risk. Especially in a Scandinavian context where consensus decisions are really important. It also seems really important to me to avoid risks of feelings of resentment. My hunch is that this is mainly avoided by transparency and honesty, regarding e.g. where the money is coming from and what it’s for. However, I think that effect is outweighed by other effects. I’ve seen people’s engagement in doing stuff for EAS go up since I started working full-time, partly since that means I can spend more time and energy into being a leader, encouraging and helping people to become usefully involved. However, with all of these things, people who have done this sort of thing for longer will likely know better.
We intend to use IASPC, but also figures regarding number of coachings, referrals etc. Regarding donations, the idea is to get data on how many swedish donations go through EA Funds. In addition to this, we will likely collect our own data on impact as well through a survey.
Thanks for the keen eye, Jonathan! Corrected now.