Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Comment author: jsteinhardt 28 January 2015 11:39:32PM 11 points [-]

I think the excerpt you give is pretty misleading, and gave me a much different understanding of the article (which I had trouble believing based on my previous knowledge of Tom and Eric) than when I actually read it. In particular, your quote ends mid-paragraph. The actual paragraph is:

However, we still have a great deal of work to do to address the concerns and risks afoot with our growing reliance on AI systems. Each of the three important risks outlined above (programming errors, cyberattacks, “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”) is being addressed by current research, but greater efforts are needed.

The next paragraph is:

We urge our colleagues in industry and academia to join us in identifying and studying these risks and in finding solutions to addressing them, and we call on government funding agencies and philanthropic initiatives to support this research. We urge the technology industry to devote even more attention to software quality and cybersecurity as we increasingly rely on AI in safety-critical functions. And we must not put AI algorithms in control of potentially-dangerous systems until we can provide a high degree of assurance that they will behave safely and properly.

Can you please fix this ASAP? (And also change your title to actually be an accurate synopsis of the article as well?) Otherwise you're just adding to the noise.

Comment author: jsteinhardt 10 January 2015 07:42:16PM 14 points [-]

I think an interesting related meme is "leadership as service". This idea certainly existed in the Boy Scouts when I was in high school, and a related idea of "management as service" exists in at least some good tech companies.

I don't personally like the "hero" narrative that much but I am highly ambitious and willing to do things even if no one else is doing them. Nevertheless, in fact, as a result of this, I often end up in what might seem like "sidekick roles". I've oftentimes taken on logistical tasks even though it's easy to argue that my comparative advantage is elsewhere. Why? Because if I don't, then some important thing won't get done, and that's all that matters. This is what I think Eliezer means when he refers to "heroic responsibility", and I think you among all people I've met exemplify this the most. So that's one interesting observation.

Another observation in my personal experience is that it's extremely difficult to take a "hero" role in more than one thing at once, simply because it's too time-consuming. I have several causes that I contribute my time to, but in many cases my ability to do so is limited by someone else willing to take the lead and spearhead the project. But again interestingly, that person often ends up performing "sidekick-like" tasks while I am more free to focus on creating value directly. I think this again inverts the narrative: who do we call the "hero" and who do we call the "sidekick"? One person is taking the lead but only creating value indirectly by allowing a group of other people to be more productive. The other people are the ones that are directly creating value, but are working within a pre-existing system. I don't know if you think that this relates to the ideas in your post or not, but I thought it was another interesting observation either way.

Comment author: jsteinhardt 10 January 2015 06:54:05PM 1 point [-]

I think once a day is a good number. I aim for 1-2 times a day (once in morning, once at night). Checking more than this seems like a huge time-waster unless there's a clear reason why it's crucial for performing one's job. I think most people underestimate the sheer amount of time lost to checking e-mail, after accounting for time lost due to context-switching.

Comment author: ike 23 December 2014 07:26:42PM 0 points [-]

Hm. What I mean is that when I try to weigh up the evidence, it seems pretty balanced (perhaps slightly weighted toward genuine), so the prior will determine it. If the prior was 10%, I would conclude that it was probably real, versus if the prior was 1%, I would conclude it was fake.

If you want me to explain what I mean by prior ...

Before doing any investigating, what is the probability of something that I am likely to hear about that fits the intuitional category of "too good to be true" to be more-or-less true? (I'm assuming an implicit weighting for popularity, which seems fair. OTOH it might be hard to estimate popularity for different people.)

Comment author: jsteinhardt 23 December 2014 10:37:23PM 1 point [-]

I think many people in this subthread are suggesting ways of interpreting the evidence that you may not have (or may have) thought of, or alternately, additional pieces of potential evidence that may not obviously be evidence. So it seems like the question you should really be asking is, "how do I assess this opportunity?" rather than "what should the prior be?"

Comment author: ike 23 December 2014 04:27:16AM *  1 point [-]

Does this mean something? http://phys.org/news/2014-12-quantum-physics-complicated.html

They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.

That seems like the kind of thing that sounds cool to say but doesn't represent anything new, except that it's being widely reported (Google news search) as a spanking-new revolution in QM, which is evidence for it being at least slightly significant. Can anyone who understands what's going on (or knows someone that does) tell me whether this is anything significantly new?

Edit: looks like the HN people aren't too impressed either. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8772422

Comment author: jsteinhardt 23 December 2014 06:16:29AM 1 point [-]

I'm not a physicist but I think it's been well-known for a while that wave-particle duality arises from the uncertainty principle.

Comment author: Princess_Stargirl 20 December 2014 05:07:08PM 1 point [-]

It is suicidal to admit an actual serious weakness. For multiple reasons. One is that admitting a serious weakness will leave a very bad impressions that is hard to overcome. See the research that people will frequently pay more for a single intact set of objects then two sets of the same objects where one set is damaged.

The other problem is that admitting an actual error is going off the social script. It either paints you as clueless or a "weirdo." This is also a very serious problem.

Comment author: jsteinhardt 21 December 2014 06:45:18AM 0 points [-]

I don't think this is right. I talk pretty publicly about whatever problems/insecurities I have, but I do so in a pretty self-confident manner. It may help that I'm visibly competent at what I do and I don't claim that it is a universally good strategy, but it works for me and helps me to stay in a fairly constant state of growth mindset which I've found to be beneficial.

Comment author: Metus 15 December 2014 12:27:24AM 9 points [-]

I am looking to set a morning routine for myself and wanted to hear if you have some unusual component in your morning routine other people might benefit from.

Comment author: jsteinhardt 16 December 2014 07:55:54AM 5 points [-]

I exercise for 5 minutes within 5 minutes of getting up.

Before I did this, I sometimes had the habit of checking e-mail for like an hour before getting out of bed. After adding this to my routine, I never did that again.

Comment author: DanielLC 16 October 2014 01:37:10AM 0 points [-]

Part of it is tax refunds.

The effectiveness of different charities varies by orders of magnitude. I don't think tax refunds will make a notable difference.

Part of it is that there are problems in our own country as well that need solving, not just in sub-Saharan Africa.

Relvant xkcd comic. There will always be problems in your country. If you haven't gotten to the point where you'll start helping sub-Saharan Africa yet, when will you?

Comment author: jsteinhardt 16 October 2014 03:26:44AM 2 points [-]

Relevant xkcd comic response: http://xkcd.com/871/

Comment author: casebash 13 October 2014 01:35:04PM 4 points [-]

Is there convincing evidence either way on Speed Reading? Some people swear by it, others claim that it doesn't actually provide an improvement over skimming.

Comment author: jsteinhardt 13 October 2014 05:35:41PM 5 points [-]

This is only an anecdote, but I've always been an extremely slow reader, but worked hard to fully comprehend everything on the first read-through (at least for subjects that weren't extremely subtle and required lots of time to chew over). An example of this is that when I took AP U.S. History, I could just read the textbook once and ace the tests. This isn't just about having a photographic memory (which I don't have), this is also about synthesizing facts into patterns and ideas as I read. I find this very helpful and do the same thing while following whiteboard talks (except I'm apparently a much faster verbal learner, or at least I don't have trouble following talks in real time at all).

I'm not sure what direction this anecdote points in, but at the very least I'd personally be afraid to do speed-reading because it would mess up a pretty good system I already have in place.

Comment author: [deleted] 17 September 2014 04:32:58PM 4 points [-]

What about “smart people”? IQ > 100? IQ > 115? IQ > 130? IQ > 145?

In response to comment by [deleted] on What are your contrarian views?
Comment author: jsteinhardt 17 September 2014 06:24:11PM *  3 points [-]

Let's say IQ 145 or higher?

ETA: Although I would push things like conscientiousness into the picture as well if I were trying to be more precise; but for the sake of not writing an essay I'm happy to stick with an IQ cutoff.

View more: Next