Job Offering: Help Communicate Infrabayesianism

Infrabayesianism seems to me (Abram) like a very promising framework for addressing at least some of the problems of AI alignment.

  • Like logical induction, it solves the realizability problem, creating an epistemic theory suitable for embedded agents.

  • Unlike logical induction, and unlike standard Bayesian decision theory, it presents a theory of epistemics directly relevant to proving decision-theoretic results (in particular, useful learning-theoretic guarantees). Logical induction and standard Bayesian decision theories both can produce meaningful loss-bounding guarantees with respect to predictive error, but bounding decision error appears challenging for these approaches. Infrabayes provides a systematic way to get around this problem. Since decision error is much more meaningful for bounding risk, this seems highly relevant to AI safety.

  • Being a new perspective on very basic issues, Infrabayesianism (or perhaps successors to the theory) may turn out to shed light on a number of other important questions.

(For more information on InfraBayes, see the infrabayesianism sequence.)

However, I believe infrabayesianism appears to have a communication problem. I’ve chatted with several people who have strongly “bounced off” the existing write-ups. (I’m tempted to conclude this is a near-universal experience.)

There was even a post asking whether a big progress write-up—applying InfraBayes to naturalized induction—had simply fallen through the cracks.

Personally, even though I’ve carefully worked through the first three posts and re-visited my notes to study them more than once, I still am not fluent enough to confidently apply the concepts in my own work when they seem relevant.

I would like to change this situation if possible. It’s not obvious to me what the best solution is, but it seems to me like it could be possible to find someone who can help.

Properties which would make an applicant interesting:

  • Must be capable of fully understanding the mathematics.

    • See the sequence to get an idea of what kind of mathematics is involved; mainly topology, functional analysis, measure theory and convex analysis. Background in reinforcement learning theory is a bonus.

  • Must have good judgement when it comes to math exposition.

  • Must be a good editor.

Details of the job description are to be worked out, but probable activities include producing independent write-ups re-explaining InfraBayes from the ground up, in a more accessible way, assisting with the creation of a textbook and exercise sheet, and editing/​writeups of additional posts.

(Even if not applying, discussion in the comments about possible ways to approach this bottleneck may be fruitful!)

Apply here.