John Horgan interviews Eliezer Yudkowsky

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Scientific American writer John Horgan recently interviewed MIRI’s senior researcher and co-founder, Eliezer Yudkowsky. The email interview touched on a wide range of topics, from politics and religion to existential risk and Bayesian models of rationality. Although Eliezer isn’t speaking in an official capacity in the interview, a number of the questions discussed are likely… Read more »

New paper: “Defining human values for value learners”

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MIRI Research Associate Kaj Sotala recently presented a new paper, “Defining Human Values for Value Learners,” at the AAAI-16 AI, Society and Ethics workshop. The abstract reads: Hypothetical “value learning” AIs learn human values and then try to act according to those values. The design of such AIs, however, is hampered by the fact that… Read more »

February 2016 Newsletter

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Research updates New at IAFF: Thoughts on Logical Dutch Book Arguments; Another View of Quantilizers: Avoiding Goodhart’s Law; Another Concise Open Problem General updates Fundraiser and grant successes: MIRI will be working with AI pioneer Stuart Russell and a to-be-determined postdoctoral researcher on the problem of corrigibility, thanks to a $75,000 grant by the Center… Read more »

January 2016 Newsletter

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Research updates A new paper: “Proof-Producing Reflection for HOL” A new analysis: Safety Engineering, Target Selection, and Alignment Theory New at IAFF: What Do We Need Value Learning For?; Strict Dominance for the Modified Demski Prior; Reflective Probability Distributions and Standard Models of Arithmetic; Existence of Distributions That Are Expectation-Reflective and Know It; Concise Open… Read more »

The need to scale MIRI’s methods

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Andrew Critch, one of the new additions to MIRI’s research team, has taken the opportunity of MIRI’s winter fundraiser to write on his personal blog about why he considers MIRI’s work important. Some excerpts: Since a team of CFAR alumni banded together to form the Future of Life Institute (FLI), organized an AI safety conference… Read more »

New paper: “Proof-producing reflection for HOL”

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MIRI Research Fellow Benya Fallenstein and Research Associate Ramana Kumar have co-authored a new paper on machine reflection, “Proof-producing reflection for HOL with an application to model polymorphism.” HOL stands for Higher Order Logic, here referring to a popular family of proof assistants based on Church’s type theory. Kumar and collaborators have previously formalized within… Read more »

December 2015 Newsletter

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Research updates New papers: “Formalizing Convergent Instrumental Goals” and “Quantilizers: A Safer Alternative to Maximizers for Limited Optimization.” These papers have been accepted to the AAAI-16 workshop on AI, Ethics and Society. New at AI Impacts: Recently at AI Impacts New at IAFF: A First Look at the Hard Problem of Corrigibility; Superrationality in Arbitrary… Read more »

New paper: “Quantilizers”

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MIRI Research Fellow Jessica Taylor has written a new paper on an error-tolerant framework for software agents, “Quantilizers: A safer alternative to maximizers for limited optimization.” Taylor’s paper will be presented at the AAAI-16 AI, Ethics and Society workshop. The abstract reads: In the field of AI, expected utility maximizers are commonly used as a… Read more »