MIRI’s November 2013 Newsletter

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  Dear friends, We’re experimenting with a new, ultra-brief newsletter style. To let us know what you think of it, simply reply to this email. Thanks! News Updates You can now support MIRI for free by shopping at smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com. Update your bookmarks! Louie Helm will be onsite for the Nov. 24th Marin… Read more »

Greg Morrisett on Secure and Reliable Systems

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Greg Morrisett is the Allen B. Cutting Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University. He received his B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Richmond in 1989, and his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in 1995. In 1996, he took a position at Cornell University, and in the 2003-04 academic year, he took… Read more »

From Philosophy to Math to Engineering

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For centuries, philosophers wondered how we could learn what causes what. Some argued it was impossible, or possible only via experiment. Others kept hacking away at the problem, clarifying ideas like counterfactual and probability and correlation by making them more precise and coherent. Then, in the 1990s, a breakthrough: Judea Pearl and others showed that, in principle, we can sometimes… Read more »

Robin Hanson on Serious Futurism

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Robin Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He is known as a founder of the field of prediction markets, and was a chief architect of the Foresight Exchange, DARPA’s FutureMAP, IARPA’s DAGGRE, SciCast, and is chief scientist… Read more »

New Paper: “Embryo Selection for Cognitive Enhancement”

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During his time as a MIRI research fellow, Carl Shulman co-authored (with Nick Bostrom) a paper that is now available as a preprint, titled “Embryo Selection for Cognitive Enhancement: Curiosity or Game-changer?” Abstract: Human capital is a key determinant of personal and national outcomes, and a major input to scientific progress. It has been suggested… Read more »

Markus Schmidt on Risks from Novel Biotechnologies

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Dr. Markus Schmidt is founder and team leader of Biofaction, a research and science communication company in Vienna, Austria. With an educational background in electronic engineering, biology and environmental risk assessment he has carried out environmental risk assessment and safety and public perception studies in a number of science and technology fields (GM-crops, gene therapy,… Read more »

Bas Steunebrink on Self-Reflective Programming

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Bas Steunebrink is a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss AI lab IDSIA, as part of Prof. Schmidhuber’s group. He received his PhD in 2010 from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Bas’s dissertation was on the subject of artificial emotions, which fits well in his continuing quest of finding practical and creative ways in which general intelligent… Read more »

Probabilistic Metamathematics and the Definability of Truth

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On October 15th, Paul Christiano presented “Probabilistic metamathematics and the definability of truth” at Harvard University as part of Logic at Harvard (details here). As explained here, Christiano came up with the idea for this approach, and it was developed further at a series of MIRI research workshops. Video of the talk is now available: The… Read more »