July 2017 Newsletter

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A number of major mid-year MIRI updates: we received our largest donation to date, $1.01 million from an Ethereum investor! Our research priorities have also shifted somewhat, reflecting the addition of four new full-time researchers (Marcello Herreshoff, Sam Eisenstat, Tsvi Benson-Tilsen, and Abram Demski) and the departure of Patrick LaVictoire and Jessica Taylor. Research updates New at IAFF:… Read more »

June 2017 Newsletter

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Research updates A new AI Impacts paper: “When Will AI Exceed Human Performance?” News coverage at Digital Trends and MIT Technology Review. New at IAFF: Cooperative Oracles; Jessica Taylor on the AAMLS Agenda; An Approach to Logically Updateless Decisions Our 2014 technical agenda, “Agent Foundations for Aligning Machine Intelligence with Human Interests,” is now available as a… Read more »

May 2017 Newsletter

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Research updates New at IAFF: The Ubiquitous Converse Lawvere Problem; Two Major Obstacles for Logical Inductor Decision Theory; Generalizing Foundations of Decision Theory II. New at AI Impacts: Guide to Pages on AI Timeline Predictions “Decisions Are For Making Bad Outcomes Inconsistent“: Nate Soares dialogues on some of the deeper issues raised by our “Cheating Death in… Read more »

2017 Updates and Strategy

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In our last strategy update (August 2016), Nate wrote that MIRI’s priorities were to make progress on our agent foundations agenda and begin work on our new “Alignment for Advanced Machine Learning Systems” agenda, to collaborate and communicate with other researchers, and to grow our research and ops teams. Since then, senior staff at MIRI… Read more »

Decisions are for making bad outcomes inconsistent

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Nate Soares’ recent decision theory paper with Ben Levinstein, “Cheating Death in Damascus,” prompted some valuable questions and comments from an acquaintance (anonymized here). I’ve put together edited excerpts from the commenter’s email below, with Nate’s responses. The discussion concerns functional decision theory (FDT), a newly proposed alternative to causal decision theory (CDT) and evidential… Read more »

April 2017 Newsletter

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Our newest publication, “Cheating Death in Damascus,” makes the case for functional decision theory, our general framework for thinking about rational choice and counterfactual reasoning. In other news, our research team is expanding! Sam Eisenstat and Marcello Herreshoff, both previously at Google, join MIRI this month. Research updates New at IAFF: “Formal Open Problem in Decision… Read more »

Two new researchers join MIRI

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MIRI’s research team is growing! I’m happy to announce that we’ve hired two new research fellows to contribute to our work on AI alignment: Sam Eisenstat and Marcello Herreshoff, both from Google.   Sam Eisenstat studied pure mathematics at the University of Waterloo, where he carried out research in mathematical logic. His previous work was on… Read more »

New paper: “Cheating Death in Damascus”

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MIRI Executive Director Nate Soares and Rutgers/UIUC decision theorist Ben Levinstein have a new paper out introducing functional decision theory (FDT), MIRI’s proposal for a general-purpose decision theory. The paper, titled “Cheating Death in Damascus,” considers a wide range of decision problems. In every case, Soares and Levinstein show that FDT outperforms all earlier theories… Read more »