My name is Nathan, which you could divine from my username but I figured it would start off on the right foot to greet using conventional social norms.
I consider myself a novice in decision theory philosophy and ethical AI, so I am intimidated by the high standard of quality writing and research in these posts. It feels more like people are submitting to a scientific periodical than an online forum. While I may never thoroughly read through Eliezer’s books, I have been trying to browse the top posts of the site in order to understand the basic fundamentals of the community.
As for me personally, I have been working a few years as a Software Engineer, with a masters degree in Computer Science. In the last year I have also been studying a lot in AI algorithms, and recently obtained a certification in Deep Reinforcement Learning. I also have a certain love of philosophy, although most books I have read are pre-modern philosophy of the Neo-Platonic or Scholastic variety.
I stumbled across this site just in the last few days, after following a rabbit hole of sensationalist news articles surrounding the hysteria on UAI and the Basilisk. But after seeing how things work around here, I am more fascinated by the concepts of ethical AI and the need to model human moral values mathematically. (From what I could tell, it seems that the Basilisk has run its course a while ago and is no longer talked about much, anyway). Personally, I hold a lot of doubt that a sentient, superintelligent AI will ever be physically possible, but regardless I still understand how the discussions of ethical AI are extremely relevant.
For a while, I have had a lot of thought about this topic, which if I were to post them would fill out at least a moderately-sized article of a few pages. That being said, it would be mainly ideas of my own personal knowledge and not a rigorous, academic research. Would that be appropriate as a post? Or would it be best to keep such personal musings out of the posting space, and instead post it here, phrased in the form of a question?