Soon: a weekly AI Safety prerequisites module on LessWrong

(edit: we have a study group run­ning a week ahead of this se­ries that adds im­por­tant con­tent. It turns out that to get that con­tent ready on a weekly ba­sis, we would have to cut cor­ners. We pre­fer qual­ity over speed. We also like pre­dictabil­ity. So we de­cided to cut us some slack and pub­lish ev­ery 2 weeks in­stead for the time be­ing)

Hey there! It’s been about 6 weeks since RAISE dou­bled down on it’s mis­sion to make learn­ing AI Safety as con­ve­nient as pos­si­ble.

We’ve been geared to­wards STEM ma­jors, but the grand vi­sion was to even­tu­ally lay out a learn­ing path that any high-school grad­u­ate could take.

So a pre­req­ui­sites track was on our wish list. Lit­tle did we know that such a track had already been con­structed, and aban­doned, in 2015.

We met it’s cre­ators, Erik Istre and Trent Fowler, and we de­cided to col­lab­o­rate. There is already at least 20 weeks of con­tent to work with, and they’re go­ing to ex­tend it fur­ther. Many thanks to them!

For what it’s worth: the track was shown to var­i­ous lead­ing figures in AIS, and the re­cep­tion has thus far been uniformly pos­i­tive. To get a sneak peek, reg­ister on our plat­form and have a look at the column called “Pr­ereq­ui­sites: Fun­da­men­tals of For­mal­iza­tion”. The first two lev­els are already up­loaded.

A mod­ule will be pub­lished ev­ery Fri­day, start­ing with “level 1: Ba­sic Logic” on May 4th. Let’s get some mo­men­tum go­ing here! If you com­plete the track in it’s en­tirety, you should be ready to un­der­stand most of the work in AI Safety.

Each mod­ule is a set of refer­ences to text­books ex­plain­ing im­por­tant top­ics like Logic, Set the­ory, Prob­a­bil­ity and Com­putabil­ity the­ory. The in­ten­tion is to 8020 a bach­e­lor’s de­gree: by cov­er­ing 20% of the ma­te­rial, you should learn 80% of the rele­vant con­cepts. At the end of each mod­ule, we made some ex­er­cises of our own. Those are made not for prac­tice, but to val­i­date your knowl­edge. If you think you already know a sub­ject, you can use these to ver­ify it.

All but 2 of the quoted text­books are available on­line for free. The other ones will be an­nounced on time. You won’t need them be­fore week 3.

We hope that this will help some of you learn AI Safety!

Warm re­gards,

Toon, Veerle, Jo­hannes, Rem­melt, Ofer

The RAISE team

PS: If you’d like to gen­er­ally stay up to date with RAISE, join our Face­book group or visit our web­site.