Results of $1,000 Oracle contest!
Almost a year ago, I posted a contest to find the best questions to ask an Oracle AI. I’ve been very slow in grading it, apologies for that, but here are the final results and the sumptuous cash prizes.
First of all, thanks for everyone who wrote an entry; even if your suggestion didn’t win, most of them had interesting ideas that made me think. But here are the prizes:
The best counterfactual Oracle suggestions revolved around using the Oracle to automate or hasten difficult human work, by getting the Oracle to tell us what humans would have achieved had they done the work. Wei_Dai’s suggestions in this area were the most useful, and he also had an interesting iterated Oracle idea that suggests some other avenues to explore.
$350 for the best question(s) to ask a low-bandwidth Oracle: the joint winners are Wei_Dai, for his idea on using the Oracle to predict crime, and William_S, for his idea to get the Oracle to critique plans.
Generally good ideas
There’s a total of $300 “to be distributed as I see fit among the non-winning entries; I’ll be mainly looking for innovative and interesting ideas that don’t quite work.” This award is split among several people:
$150 to cousin_it for finding the “bucket chain” flaw if there are Oracles whose time-ranges of prediction overlap.
$50 to evhub’s idea to use Oracles to do iterated amplification and distillation.
$25 to Gurkenglas for using Oracles to see how predictable history was; I have no idea how to make this work precisely, but it is a fascinating idea.
Thanks again to all who participated, and the winners can contact me to receive their ill-gotten gains.