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owencb comments on Further discussion of CFAR’s focus on AI safety, and the good things folks wanted from “cause neutrality” - Less Wrong

35 Post author: AnnaSalamon 12 December 2016 07:39PM

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Comment author: owencb 11 December 2016 01:00:05PM 6 points [-]

I like your (A)-(C), particularly (A). This seems important, and something that isn't always found by default in the world at large.

Because it's somewhat unusual, I think it's helpful to give strong signals that this is important to you. For example I'd feel happy about it being a core part of the CFAR identity, appearing in even short statements of organisational mission. (I also think this can help organisation insiders to take it even more seriously.)

On (i), it seems clearly a bad idea for staff to pretend they have no viewpoints. And if the organisation has viewpoints, it's a bad idea to hide them. I think there is a case for keeping organisational identity small -- not taking views on things it doesn't need views on. Among other things, this helps to make sure that it actually delivers on (A). But I thought the start of your post (points (1)-(4)) did a good job of explaining why there are in fact substantive benefits to having an organisational view on AI, and I'm more supportive of this than before. I still think it is worth trying to keep organisational identity relatively small, and I'm still not certain whether it would be better to have separate organisations.