Edge.org contributors discuss the future of AI

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In January, nearly 200 public intellectuals submitted essays in response to the 2015 Edge.org question, “What Do You Think About Machines That Think?” (available online). The essay prompt began: In recent years, the 1980s-era philosophical discussions about artificial intelligence (AI)—whether computers can “really” think, refer, be conscious, and so on—have led to new conversations about… Read more »

October 2015 Newsletter

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Research updates New paper: Asymptotic Logical Uncertainty and The Benford Test New at IAFF: Proof Length and Logical Counterfactuals Revisited; Quantilizers Maximize Expected Utility Subject to a Conservative Cost Constraint General updates As a way to engage more researchers in mathematics, logic, and the methodology of science, Andrew Critch and Tsvi Benson-Tilsen are currently co-running… Read more »

New paper: “Asymptotic logical uncertainty and the Benford test”

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We have released a new paper on logical uncertainty, co-authored by Scott Garrabrant, Siddharth Bhaskar, Abram Demski, Joanna Garrabrant, George Koleszarik, and Evan Lloyd: “Asymptotic logical uncertainty and the Benford test.” Garrabrant gives some background on his approach to logical uncertainty on the Intelligent Agent Foundations Forum: The main goal of logical uncertainty is to… Read more »

September 2015 Newsletter

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Research updates New analyses: When AI Accelerates AI; Powerful Planners, Not Sentient Software New at AI Impacts: Research Bounties; AI Timelines and Strategies New at IAFF: Uniform Coherence 2; The Two-Update Problem Andrew Critch, a CFAR cofounder, mathematician, and former Jane Street trader, joined MIRI as our fifth research fellow this month! As a result… Read more »

AI and Effective Altruism

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MIRI is a research nonprofit specializing in a poorly-explored set of problems in theoretical computer science. GiveDirectly is a cash transfer service that gives money to poor households in East Africa. What kind of conference would bring together representatives from such disparate organizations — alongside policy analysts, philanthropists, philosophers, and many more? Effective Altruism Global,… Read more »

Assessing our past and potential impact

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We’ve received several thoughtful questions in response to our fundraising post to the Effective Altruism Forum and our new FAQ. From quant trader Maxwell Fritz: My snap reaction to MIRI’s pitches has typically been, “yeah, AI is a real concern. But I have no idea whether MIRI are the right people to work on it,… Read more »

When AI Accelerates AI

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Last week, Nate Soares outlined his case for prioritizing long-term AI safety work: 1. Humans have a fairly general ability to make scientific and technological progress. The evolved cognitive faculties that make us good at organic chemistry overlap heavily with the evolved cognitive faculties that make us good at economics, which overlap heavily with the… Read more »