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MIRI's 2017 Fundraiser

8 malo 07 December 2017 09:47PM

Update 2017-12-27: We've blown past our 3rd and final target, and reached the matching cap of $300,000 for the $2 million Matching Challenge! Thanks so much to everyone who supported us!

All donations made before 23:59 PST on Dec 31st will continue to be counted towards our fundraiser total. The fundraiser total includes projected matching funds from the Challenge.


 

 

MIRI’s 2017 fundraiser is live through the end of December! Our progress so far (updated live):

 


Donate Now


 

MIRI is a research nonprofit based in Berkeley, California with a mission of ensuring that smarter-than-human AI technology has a positive impact on the world. You can learn more about our work at “Why AI Safety?” or via MIRI Executive Director Nate Soares’ Google talk on AI alignment.

In 2015, we discussed our interest in potentially branching out to explore multiple research programs simultaneously once we could support a larger team. Following recent changes to our overall picture of the strategic landscape, we’re now moving ahead on that goal and starting to explore new research directions while also continuing to push on our agent foundations agenda. For more on our new views, see “There’s No Fire Alarm for Artificial General Intelligence” and our 2017 strategic update. We plan to expand on our relevant strategic thinking more in the coming weeks.

Our expanded research focus means that our research team can potentially grow big, and grow fast. Our current goal is to hire around ten new research staff over the next two years, mostly software engineers. If we succeed, our point estimate is that our 2018 budget will be $2.8M and our 2019 budget will be $3.5M, up from roughly $1.9M in 2017.1

We’ve set our fundraiser targets by estimating how quickly we could grow while maintaining a 1.5-year runway, on the simplifying assumption that about 1/3 of the donations we receive between now and the beginning of 2019 will come during our current fundraiser.2

Hitting Target 1 ($625k) then lets us act on our growth plans in 2018 (but not in 2019); Target 2 ($850k) lets us act on our full two-year growth plan; and in the case where our hiring goes better than expected, Target 3 ($1.25M) would allow us to add new members to our team about twice as quickly, or pay higher salaries for new research staff as needed.

We discuss more details below, both in terms of our current organizational activities and how we see our work fitting into the larger strategy space.

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Meetup : San Francisco Meetup: Deep Questions

0 rocurley 22 January 2018 12:31AM

Discussion article for the meetup : San Francisco Meetup: Deep Questions

WHEN: 22 January 2018 06:15:00PM (-0800)

WHERE: 855 Brannan St San Francisco, CA 94103

We’re trying a new format this week!

How Deep Questions works: We’ll break into pairs. Each pair will take turns answering one of a selected list of open-ended meaningful questions (e.g. “What in life gets you really excited?”, “What’s one thing you’ve never told someone before about yourself that you feel comfortable sharing with a stranger?”, “What do you hope they say in your obituary?”, “Who do you admire most, and why do you admire that person so much?”). Each pair gets 12 minutes for both people to answer the question; after 12 minutes, the pairs rotate to take on the next question with a new person.

This meetup is more structured than usual; at the recent meta-meetup, we got feedback that more structured interaction might help shy people integrate better into the group. Please let us know what you think of this meetup format.

For help getting into the building, please call (or text, with a likely-somewhat-slower response rate): 203-503-7508 (general meetup info at 301-458-0764).

Format:

We meet and start hanging out at 6:15, but don’t officially start doing the meetup topic until 6:45-7:00 to accommodate stragglers. Usually there is a food order that goes out before we start the meetup topic.

About these meetups:

The mission of the SF LessWrong meetup is to provide a fun, low-key social space with some structured interaction, where new and non-new community members can mingle and have interesting conversations. Everyone is welcome.

We explicitly encourage people to split off from the main conversation or diverge from the topic if that would be more fun for them (moving side conversations into a separate part of the space if appropriate). Meetup topics are here as a tool to facilitate fun interaction, and we certainly don’t want them to inhibit it.

Discussion article for the meetup : San Francisco Meetup: Deep Questions

Meetup : LW Melbourne Rationality Dojo: A more beautiful question

0 Chriswaterguy 19 January 2018 07:24AM

Discussion article for the meetup : LW Melbourne Rationality Dojo: A more beautiful question

WHEN: 21 January 2018 03:30:00PM (+1100)

WHERE: The Hub - Docklands: 80 Harbour Esplanade, Melbourne

Our second dojo for 2018 will feature Seph Gentle talking about Hamming questions - not the question you deserve, but the question you need... ;)

We'll also be talking about what's current in rationality and continue our debugging and accountability practices and how to use rationality to improve your odds of winning at life.

We meet at 4 pm for a 4:30 pm start, this time in the Glasshouse at the Hub in Docklands. The venue is just a block away from Southern Cross station and has stops for the tram lines 35, 70 and 75 nearby. At about 6:30 pm join us for dinner nearby.

BRING:

  • An inquiring mind, and observations you may have on the topic.
  • Perhaps a snack or drink to share. (Bonus points for healthy choices.)

QUESTIONS? LOST? Call one of the organisers, e.g. Chris on 0439 471 632 or Eike on 0405 674 835

WHO ARE WE AND WHY DO WE MEET? The Less Wrong Melbourne Rationality Dojos are a chance to polish your planning, motivational, critical thinking and other rationality skills. We welcome new members who are interested in exploring rationality. We're "aspiring rationalists" and always keen to learn.

Discussion article for the meetup : LW Melbourne Rationality Dojo: A more beautiful question

Meetup : Washington, D.C.: Design for Manufacturing

0 RobinZ 18 January 2018 02:23AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Washington, D.C.: Design for Manufacturing

WHEN: 21 January 2018 03:30:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture

We will be meeting in the courtyard to talk about how considerations of how a thing is to be made (or assembled, or shipped, or repaired, or...) affect its design.

Upcoming meetups:

  • Jan. 28: Predictions
  • Feb. 4: Fun & Games

(Note: Fun & Games was postponed so as to put the Predictions meetup in January.)

Discussion article for the meetup : Washington, D.C.: Design for Manufacturing

Meetup : Washington, D.C.: Meta Meetup

0 RobinZ 10 January 2018 03:35AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Washington, D.C.: Meta Meetup

WHEN: 14 January 2018 03:30:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture

We will be meeting in the courtyard to talk about the Less Wrong DC group - what people like and what people would like to change. Feel free to suggest new meetup topics!

Upcoming meetups:

  • Jan. 21: Design for Manufacturing
  • Jan. 28: Fun & Games

Discussion article for the meetup : Washington, D.C.: Meta Meetup

Meetup : San Francisco Meetup: Year in Review

0 rocurley 05 January 2018 04:39PM

Discussion article for the meetup : San Francisco Meetup: Year in Review

WHEN: 08 January 2018 03:15:00PM (-0800)

WHERE: 75 brighton Ave, San Francisco, CA

In keeping with previous years, we’ll be meeting to reflect on how our past year went. We’ll start with this post on LessWrong as a jumping-off point, then move into discussion. For help getting into the building, please call (or text, with a likely-somewhat-slower response rate): 203-503-7508 (general meetup info at 301-458-0764). Format: We meet and start hanging out at 6:15, but don’t officially start doing the meetup topic until 6:45-7:00 to accommodate stragglers. Usually there is a food order that goes out before we start the meetup topic. About these meetups: The mission of the SF LessWrong meetup is to provide a fun, low-key social space with some structured interaction, where new and non-new community members can mingle and have interesting conversations. Everyone is welcome. We explicitly encourage people to split off from the main conversation or diverge from the topic if that would be more fun for them (moving side conversations into a separate part of the space if appropriate). Meetup topics are here as a tool to facilitate fun interaction, and we certainly don’t want them to inhibit it.

Discussion article for the meetup : San Francisco Meetup: Year in Review

Meetup : Washington, D.C.: Fun & Games

0 RobinZ 03 January 2018 03:23AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Washington, D.C.: Fun & Games

WHEN: 07 January 2018 03:30:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture

We will be meeting in the courtyard to hang out, play games, and engage in fun conversation.

Upcoming meetups:

  • Jan. 14: Meta Meetup
  • Jan. 21: Design for Manufacturing

Discussion article for the meetup : Washington, D.C.: Fun & Games

Meetup : Resolution Revolution: Less Wrong Melbourne Dojo

0 Chriswaterguy 01 January 2018 01:22PM

Discussion article for the meetup : Resolution Revolution: Less Wrong Melbourne Dojo

WHEN: 07 January 2018 04:00:00PM (+1100)

WHERE: parliament gardens, Melbourne

We're trying a new thing in 2018 – fortnightly meetings that run a bit shorter, with more tracking of goals (for those that want that). Start your new year with a resolution revolution! We will talk about goal setting, tracking and evaluation methods and how to use rationality to improve your odds of winning at life. Sunday 7 Jan. 4 pm for a 4:30 pm start, at Parliament Gardens (near the entrance by the tram stop). At about 6:30 pm join us for dinner nearby. BRING: * An inquiring mind, and observations you may have on the topic. * Perhaps a snack to share. (Bonus points for healthy choices.) QUESTIONS? LOST? Call one of the organisers, e.g. Chris on 0439 471 632 WHO ARE WE AND WHY DO WE MEET? The Less Wrong Melbourne Rationality Dojos are a chance to polish your planning, motivational, critical thinking and other rationality skills. We welcome new members who are interested in exploring rationality. We're "aspiring rationalists" and always keen to learn.

Discussion article for the meetup : Resolution Revolution: Less Wrong Melbourne Dojo

Meetup : Washington, D.C.: Holiday Hanging-Out

0 RobinZ 27 December 2017 05:10AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Washington, D.C.: Holiday Hanging-Out

WHEN: 31 December 2017 03:30:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture

Anyone who's around will be meeting in the courtyard to hang out, catch up, and so forth.

Upcoming meetups:

  • Jan. 7: Fun & Games
  • Jan. 14: Meta Meetup

Discussion article for the meetup : Washington, D.C.: Holiday Hanging-Out

Meetup : [Montreal] Should we cryopreserve ourselves?

0 MathieuRoy 22 December 2017 06:54AM

Discussion article for the meetup : [Montreal] Should we cryopreserve ourselves?

WHEN: 12 January 2018 07:00:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: 810 Avenue Duluth E, Montreal

<< You’re on an airplane when you hear a loud sound and things start violently shaking. A minute later, the captain comes on the speaker and says:

There’s been an explosion in the engine, and the plane is going to crash in 15 minutes. There’s no chance of survival. There is a potential way out—the plane happens to be transferring a shipment of parachutes, and anyone who would like to use one to escape the plane may do so. But I must warn you—the parachutes are experimental and completely untested, with no guarantee to work. We also have no idea what the terrain will be like down below. Please line up in the aisle if you’d like a parachute, and the flight attendants will give you one, show you how to use it and usher you to the emergency exit where you can jump. Those who choose not to take that option, please remain in your seat—this will be over soon, and you will feel no pain.

What would you do? >>

Join us to discuss cryonics. The event will be held on James Bedford Day, in memory of the first person to have been cryopreserved.

“Cryonics is an effort to save lives by using temperatures so cold that a person beyond help by today's medicine can be preserved for decades or centuries until a future medical technology can restore that person to full health.”

Join this Facebook group for more information on cryonics in Montreal: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CryonieMontreal/

The main reading for this discussion will be the blog post “Why Cryonics Makes Sense” on Wait But Why (https://waitbutwhy.com/2016/03/cryonics.html). It is widely recognized as the best introduction to cryonics.

You might also enjoy this documentary by Les Francs-Tireurs (in French and English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhkUcqORqtQ, or this one by Motherboard (in English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5KuNAeOtJ0&index=11&list=PLL6Iy2E-Y52vrR8G9E_XZCB__g784eVd8

For additional readings, I recommend browsing the following websites: • Alcor: http://alcor.org/ • Cryonics Institute: http://www.cryonics.org/ • Chronopause: http://chronopause.com/chronopause.com/index.html • Ben Best: https://www.benbest.com/cryonics/cryonics.html

Condition for attendance: Attendees are expected to have at least read the Wait But Why article.

Meetup charge: free

Nature of our discussions/debates: • Opinions expressed are encouraged to be backed by facts wherever possible; • Members should gracefully take criticism of their opinion and not take the criticism personally; • Members should show willingness to provide more facts and explanations in support of their opinion if this is requested by any other participant; • Organizer acts as a moderator as well as a participant in the discussion.

Discussion article for the meetup : [Montreal] Should we cryopreserve ourselves?

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