Someone who is interested in learning and doing good.
My main blog: https://matthewbarnett.substack.com/
Wow, that chart definitely surprised me. Yes, this caused me to update.
Nuclear power is not 10x cheaper. It carries large risks so some regulation cannot be skipped. I concur that there is some unnecessary regulation, but the evidence such as the linked source just doesn’t leave “room” for a 10x gain. Currently the data suggests it doesn’t provide an economic gain over natural gas unless the carbon emissions are priced in, and they are not in most countries.
I recommend reading the Roots of Progress article I linked to in the post. Most of the reason why nuclear power is high cost is because of the burdensome regulations. And of course, regulation is not uniformly bad, but it seems from the chart Devanney Figure 7.11 in the article that we could have relatively safe nuclear energy for a fraction of its current price.
Thanks for the useful comment.
You might say “okay, sure, at some level of scaling GPTs learn enough general reasoning that they can manage a corporation, but there’s no reason to believe it’s near”.
Right. This is essentially the same way we might reply to Claude Shannon if he said that some level of brute-force search would solve the problem of natural language translation.
one of the major points of the bio anchors framework is to give a reasonable answer to the question of “at what level of scaling might this work”, so I don’t think you can argue that current forecasts are ignoring (2).
Figuring out how to make a model manage a corporation involves a lot more than scaling a model until it has the requisite general intelligence to do it in principle if its motivation were aligned.
I think it will be hard to figure out how to actually make models do stuff we want. Insofar as this is simply a restatement of the alignment problem, I think this assumption will be fairly uncontroversial around here. Yet, it’s also a reason to assume that we won’t simply obtain transformative models the moment they become theoretically attainable.
It might seem unfair that I’m inputting safety and control as an input in our model for timelines, if we’re using the model to reason about the optimal time to intervene. But I think on an individual level it makes sense to just try to forecast what will actually happen.
These arguments prove too much; you could apply them to pretty much any technology (e.g. self-driving cars, 3D printing, reusable rockets, smart phones, VR headsets...).
I suppose my argument has an implicit, “current forecasts are not taking these arguments into account.” If people actually were taking my arguments into account, and still concluding that we should have short timelines, then this would make sense. But, I made these arguments because I haven’t seen people talk about these considerations much. For example, I deliberately avoided the argument that according to the outside view, timelines might be expected to be long, since that’s an argument I’ve already seen many people make, and therefore we can expect a lot of people to take it into account when they make forecasts.
I agree that the things you say push in the direction of longer timelines, but there are other arguments one could make that push in the direction of shorter timelines
Sure. I think my post is akin to someone arguing for a scientific theory. I’m just contributing some evidence in favor of the theory, not conducting a full analysis for and against it. Others can point to evidence against it, and overall we’ll just have to sum over all these considerations to arrive at our answer.
I’m uncertain. I lean towards the order I’ve written them in as the order of relative importance. However, the regulation thing seems like the biggest uncertainty to me. I don’t feel like I’m good at predicting how people and government will react to things; it’s possible that technological advancement will occur so rapidly and will be celebrated so widely that people won’t want it to stop.
This does not work without a drastic reduction in total government expenditure.
I agree, though I’m not sure whether this will always be true. Look at the last section of my post.
the majority of “wealth” is in the form of individuals’ earnings potential
I meant wealth as in physical assets, especially capital.
The last section of my post comes to roughly the same conclusion.
Can you clarify what your point is? ChristianKl said that my proposal “creates a strong incentive for the government to make sure that the companies it owns can outcompete the other companies.” I partially agreed but gave one reason to disagree; namely, that the government isn’t profit-maximizing.
You seem to be asserting the opposite of what ChristianKl said, that is, that the government has no incentive to outcompete other companies. Can you explain why?
The government might have an incentive to outcompete other companies, but the strength of this incentive is unclear to me. The US government already competes with the private sector in, e.g. delivering mail, but this hasn’t lead to the end of FedEx. Unlike private companies, the government generally isn’t profit-maximizing in any normal sense, and so it’s not clear why they’d benefit from monopolistic practices.
For you, our patented superintelligent prediction algorithm anticipated that you would want an account, so we already created one for you. Unfortunately, it also predicted that you would make very bad investments in literal galaxy-brain hot takes. Therefore, we decided to terminate your account.
The “obvious” rationalist investments into Tesla and AMD are an after-the-fact story to make it sound like that was the right thing to do back then.
I’m also unconvinced by this evidence. As other comments here noted, the rise of AMD and GPU stocks has very little to do with deep learning. What would make me more persuaded is if the author made specific public predictions about stock prices, with justification, and then analyzed it later.
In other words, I want to see what tech stock picks deluks917 currently thinks are undervalued. Then we’ll see if they’re right in a few years.
You can’t buy the S&P 500, at least not directly. Instead, you can buy funds that try to match the performance of the S&P 500 (while charging a small fee), like VFNIX and VOO.
VTSAX by contrast, doesn’t track the S&P 500, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. From the Vanguard website,
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is designed to provide investors with exposure to the entire U.S. equity market, including small-, mid-, and large-cap growth and value stocks.
In other words, it’s more diversified than an S&P 500 fund.
There may be some groups for which this is true, but it hasn’t been my experience in any of the US or UK work or social subcultures I’ve been part of.
Sure, many different social environments use different measures for status. In the post I talked about how people rank themselves based on wealth. Here, I mentioned how some people use school and jobs.
My main point was that we already have status rankings. It’s true that we don’t have a total order, global status ranking. But locally speaking, I don’t see what’s wrong with introducing a new metric for ranking status. I’m reminded of something I saw recently as a response to social anarchists who want to abolish hierarchies: people will just create new hierarchies along different axes in response to the revolution. We might as well just ask which hierarchies are best to have.
Another concern I have is that, what you’re proposing could make net worth the most salient feature of an individual—this information is out there in a database, rather than something one needs to spend time and effort to get to know the person to find out. This could lead to a hyper-competitive environment where individuals’ worth is reduced to a number, and social status is done through rankings.
It seems like most social environments are already like this to some extent. People are ranked according to the school/job they are at, and the grades they got. The first thing is public information, and the second thing can generally be inferred by the first.
I agree that we shouldn’t try to make people feel like their social status is reducible to a single number. But if people already think that their social status is reducible to a single number, we might as well think about what number it ought to be, rather than just pretending that the number doesn’t already exist.
I also don’t know why it’s better that social status be reducible to a set of numbers rather than just one number.
In addition, much of the concerns about wealth inequality in today’s world still apply here.
I actually think my proposal should be enthusiastically supported by those concerned with wealth inequality. For one, it makes people’s wealth much more salient, which will probably make people more willing to redistribute wealth once they viscerally understand just how well some people are doing.
The standard example of a public good is national defense. In that case, you’re probably right that the market can’t provide it, since it would be viewed in competition with the government military, and therefore would probably be seen as a threat to national security.
For other public goods, I’m not sure why the government would have a monopoly. Scientific research is considered a public good, and yet the government doesn’t put many restrictions on what types of science you can perform (with some possible exceptions like nuclear weapons research).
Wikipedia lists common examples of public goods. We could through them one by one. I certainly agree that for some of them, your hypothesis holds.
Also, in my experience, middle-aged and older people tend to downplay their wealth and not brag about it (why? Not entirely sure).
I think a lot of people have made the observation that old people care less about status than young people. I’m not sure why that might be, but I could come up with some possible evolutionary explanations. My general hypothesis would probably be something like, young people have much more to lose by being low status. They want to get a promising career and have the best romantic partner. For old people, the stakes are lower.
Saying “people prefer buying status to saving money” is no different from saying “people prefer buying fancy cars to saving money”. Pointing out that people are buying status as well as cars doesn’t explain why they consistently prefer to buy status now rather than save for status later.
Yeah, I should clarify that I don’t think the myopia explanation and the conspicuous explanation are at odds with each other. Ultimately it’s myopia that causes people to spend rather than invest right now. But we might also want to know why people are spending so much on the things they do, so that we can figure out how to encourage them to save instead.
Also, people definitely do buy fancy (i.e. expensive) cars. And houses, clothes, jewelry, etc. You say that people “don’t want to be seen as bragging”, but when someone wears a $100,000 diamond wedding ring, what else is that but bragging?
In the case of cars, people will say, “I have a car so that I can go from point A to point B.” A house “is there so that I have shelter to live in.” Clothes are “to protect me from the elements.”
The only example you mentioned that doesn’t seem to have to have an alternative motive is jewelry. But even in the case of a diamond ring, people usually say that they’re buying it so that they can show how much they care about their partner, not that they’re trying to show how wealthy they are.
I was able to find articles that talked about Norway’s system that requires people to disclose their tax return to others, and other articles that talked about how you can view someone’s salary in Sweden. I don’t know if these were the policies you were referring to. If they were, then I must say that these are interesting systems and worth reading about, but not they’re also not quite what I am proposing, since they don’t seem to be about encouraging people to save money.