Certainly there’s a risk that it turns into a community wide equivalent of procrastination if the spreads are low. Would love someone to tackle that rigorously and empirically!
This is helpful. Might be worth defining EA as a movement that realises premises 1, 2, 3 are partially true, and that even if there are small differences on each, it is worth being really careful and deliberate about what we do and how much.
There was also something attractive to me as a young person many moons ago about Toby Ord & Will Mackaskill’s other early message—which is perhaps a bit more general / not specific to EA—that there are some really good opportunities to promote the common good out there, and they are worth pursuing (perhaps this is the moral element that you’re trying to abstract from?).
I like the way you introduced the calculus, it was artful. I think going one step further would be useful, I.e. Looking at the income distributions of recipients of different interventions and charities.
Id be interested in long run future and things focused more directly on human wellbeing than generic health and income. Id also be more interested if these groups not only updated on orgs we all know about but also did / collated exploratory work on speculative opportunities.
What will it cost?
Except that on point 3, the policies advocated and strategies being tried aren’t as if people are trying to reduce x risk, they’re as if they’re trying to enable AI to work rather than backfire.
See recent pain control brief lee sharkey as example, or Auren Forrester’s stuff on suicide.
What’s wrong with low hanging fruit? Not entertaining enough?
The shift from patient as recipient of medicine from clinician with authority (old style developed world and much of e.g. Africa) to patient as consumer. There are good and bad things with this transition. Pain, pain control and patient perceptions are just under-studied as a nexus. Not a reason not to go ahead, just my biggest worry with this stuff. (I personally don’t think risk of death / side effects are much of a worry at all when we’re talking about opioid availability in inpatient settings).
Ben, I’m impressed—thank you for sharing and wish you continued success with the business despite the changing political environment.
I’m really happy to see this article—I mentioned it to givewell a while ago but they weren’t interested. For me this hits what I see as the moral priority more than a lot of the other projects and options on the go.
Simple, complex and neuropathic pains respond differently to different anaelgasics. Opioids v effective for simple pain over the short term, e.g. surgeries, broken bones etc. Neuropathic and complex pain don’t have good equivalents for pain relief and patients are stuck with cannabinoids, anti-epileptics and anti-depressants (or, ketamine, ironically, if it wasn’t so restricted in the developed world for its noted impact on organ function).
Not a reason not to back access to opioids in the developing world.
Least well explored part IMO is the impact of pain control on the nature of medicine and doctor-patient interaction etc. because the west may have fallen into a trap that it may be a shame to hasten in the developing world.
are harder for campaigns to avoid than even governments from where I’m sitting. But yes worth looking at more and yes I’m interested. Nice post.
I agree this is really strange. I agree many ai people supposedly into safety don’t seem to givemuch thought to the more obvious policies, at least publicly (unless someone can signpost).
Why not move national security research funding from ai development and application to safety research?
Why not call out the risks and bring more skepticism to a. The hope of ever achieving aligned AI, and b. That aligned AI really improving the human condition anyway, while reminding people of the risks?
Why not ask all companies or industry researchers t apply for a permit with some prior training in risks or safety prior to them working on anything more advanced than basic statistical algorithms?Or even professional registration? Just slow it down and make I more expensive. These bodies can be set up intemationally without having to be passed into law.
Why not tempt coders and researchers who are making particularly good.progress, to work on something else? This could be done around the world like counter recruitment in espionage or competitive industries.
Yep. Would also be keep on the more comprehensive one ὠA well done though
Why not test this? Probably only suggesting this because I’m reluctant to trust one or two papers on this alone. Would be cheap to do. eg:
-Write two similar tests of the key dimensions of performance you care about.
-Recruit a number of participants
-Put each test in an envelope marked 1 or 2 for first or second, then put two envelopes in a bigger envelope, making sure that the smaller envelopes marked 1 and 2 don’t contain the same test.
-Assign people to two rooms. In one, a friend has raised CO2 to 1200ppm, in another, its 600ppm. You don’t know which and you don’t tell them which. They do test one first in one of the rooms, and test two second in the other.
-Look at results
I don’t think that addresses my comment. I’m not talking about corruption as a general phenomenon being correlated with higher growth. I’m talking about corruption being a political phenomenon and anti-corruption being a cause-blind political intervention. Without local knowledge you don’t know if you’re improving things or not. Political economy doesn’t equal economics. But thanks, useful article!
You didn’t mention policiing or accountability campaigning, which the politics/development literature suggests is often a necessary step for a country to come out of poverty—depending on which country you’re in.
I think you need to think a bit deeper about the corruption thing. A political-economists view might be that there isn’t that much harm in corruption per se, but there is a lot of harm in certain types of corruption. Sometimes corruption is a means of achieving fantastic policy goals, anti-corruption one of them. The key thing is to keep an eye on what matters and the effects of your actions, and make sure you’re completely honest with those you love. Imagine saying to someone they should go into consultancy but never wear a suit—in some environments its a signal, and that signal can’t be changed below in a meaningful way. But there are always counter-examples, like Dora Akunyili—but she wouldn’t have done what she did without being a first class pharmacist with a fiery personality in the right place at the right time.
I think they’re consistent with a Kantian perspective. Also, a risk averse consequentialist. Also, someone that likes to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions in a like for like manner for ethical-aesthetic reasons.
An important point. Failing to take this into account comes across as morally narrow.