Effective Altruism and Flow-Through Effects

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Last month, MIRI research fellow Carl Shulman1 participated in a recorded debate/conversation about effective altruism and flow-through effects. This issue is highly relevant to MIRI’s mission, since MIRI focuses on activities that are intended to produce altruistic value via their flow-through effects on the invention of AGI.

The conversation (mp3, transcript) included:

Recommended background reading includes:

To summarize the conversation very briefly: All participants seemed to agree that more research on flow-through effects would be high value. However, there’s a risk that such research isn’t highly tractable. For now, GiveWell will focus on other projects that seem more tractable. Rob Wiblin might try to organize some research on flow-through effects, to learn how tractable it is.

  1. Carl was a MIRI research fellow at the time of the conversation, but left MIRI at the end of August 2013 to study computer science.