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The Future of Life

Future of Life Institute

48
Followers
203
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The Future of Life

The Future of Life

Future of Life Institute

48
Followers
203
Plays
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About Us

FLI catalyzes and supports research and initiatives for safeguarding life and developing optimistic visions of the future, including positive ways for humanity to steer its own course considering new technologies and challenges.Among our objectives is to inspire discussion and a sharing of ideas. As such, we interview researchers and thought leaders who we believe will help spur discussion within our community. The interviews do not necessarily represent FLI’s opinions or views.

Latest Episodes

Sam Harris on Global Priorities, Existential Risk, and What Matters Most

Human civilization increasingly has the potential both to improve the lives of everyone and to completely destroy everything. The proliferation of emerging technologies calls our attention to this never-before-seen power — and the need to cultivate the wisdom with which to steer it towards beneficial outcomes. If we're serious both as individuals and as a species about improving the world, it's crucial that we converge around the reality of our situation and what matters most. What are the most important problems in the world today and why? In this episode of the Future of Life Institute Podcast, Sam Harris joins us to discuss some of these global priorities, the ethics surrounding them, and what we can do to address them. Topics discussed in this episode include: -The problem of communication -Global priorities -Existential risk -Animal suffering in both wild animals and factory farmed animals -Global poverty -Artificial general intelligence risk and AI alignment -Ethics -Sam’s b...

92 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Sam Harris on Global Priorities, Existential Risk, and What Matters Most

FLI Podcast: On the Future of Computation, Synthetic Biology, and Life with George Church

Progress in synthetic biology and genetic engineering promise to bring advancements in human health sciences by curing disease, augmenting human capabilities, and even reversing aging. At the same time, such technology could be used to unleash novel diseases and biological agents which could pose global catastrophic and existential risks to life on Earth. George Church, a titan of synthetic biology, joins us on this episode of the FLI Podcast to discuss the benefits and risks of our growing knowledge of synthetic biology, its role in the future of life, and what we can do to make sure it remains beneficial. Will our wisdom keep pace with our expanding capabilities? Topics discussed in this episode include: -Existential risk -Computational substrates and AGI -Genetics and aging -Risks of synthetic biology -Obstacles to space colonization -Great Filters, consciousness, and eliminating suffering You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/05/15/on-the-fut...

73 MIN2 w ago
Comments
FLI Podcast: On the Future of Computation, Synthetic Biology, and Life with George Church

FLI Podcast: On Superforecasting with Robert de Neufville

Essential to our assessment of risk and ability to plan for the future is our understanding of the probability of certain events occurring. If we can estimate the likelihood of risks, then we can evaluate their relative importance and apply our risk mitigation resources effectively. Predicting the future is, obviously, far from easy — and yet a community of "superforecasters" are attempting to do just that. Not only are they trying, but these superforecasters are also reliably outperforming subject matter experts at making predictions in their own fields. Robert de Neufville joins us on this episode of the FLI Podcast to explain what superforecasting is, how it's done, and the ways it can help us with crucial decision making. Topics discussed in this episode include: -What superforecasting is and what the community looks like -How superforecasting is done and its potential use in decision making -The challenges of making predictions -Predictions about and lessons from COVID-19 You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/04/30/on-superforecasting-with-robert-de-neufville/ You can take a survey about the podcast here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/W8YLYD3 You can submit a nominee for the Future of Life Award here: https://futureoflife.org/future-of-life-award-unsung-hero-search/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 5:00 What is superforecasting? 7:22 Who are superforecasters and where did they come from? 10:43 How is superforecasting done and what are the relevant skills? 15:12 Developing a better understanding of probabilities 18:42 How is it that superforecasters are better at making predictions than subject matter experts? 21:43 COVID-19 and a failure to understand exponentials 24:27 What organizations and platforms exist in the space of superforecasting? 27:31 Whats up for consideration in an actual forecast 28:55 How are forecasts aggregated? Are they used? 31:37 How accurate are superforecasters? 34:34 How is superforecasting complementary to global catastrophic risk research and efforts? 39:15 The kinds of superforecasting platforms that exist 43:00 How accurate can we get around global catastrophic and existential risks? 46:20 How to deal with extremely rare risk and how to evaluate your prediction after the fact 53:33 Superforecasting, expected value calculations, and their use in decision making 56:46 Failure to prepare for COVID-19 and if superforecasting will be increasingly applied to critical decision making 01:01:55 What can we do to improve the use of superforecasting? 01:02:54 Forecasts about COVID-19 01:11:43 How do you convince others of your ability as a superforecaster? 01:13:55 Expanding the kinds of questions we do forecasting on 01:15:49 How to utilize subject experts and superforecasters 01:17:54 Where to find and follow Robert This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

80 MINMAY 1
Comments
FLI Podcast: On Superforecasting with Robert de Neufville

AIAP: An Overview of Technical AI Alignment in 2018 and 2019 with Buck Shlegeris and Rohin Shah

Just a year ago we released a two part episode titled An Overview of Technical AI Alignment with Rohin Shah. That conversation provided details on the views of central AI alignment research organizations and many of the ongoing research efforts for designing safe and aligned systems. Much has happened in the past twelve months, so we've invited Rohin — along with fellow researcher Buck Shlegeris — back for a follow-up conversation. Today's episode focuses especially on the state of current research efforts for beneficial AI, as well as Buck's and Rohin's thoughts about the varying approaches and the difficulties we still face. This podcast thus serves as a non-exhaustive overview of how the field of AI alignment has updated and how thinking is progressing. Topics discussed in this episode include: -Rohin's and Buck's optimism and pessimism about different approaches to aligned AI -Traditional arguments for AI as an x-risk -Modeling agents as expected utility maximizers -Ambitious ...

141 MINAPR 16
Comments
AIAP: An Overview of Technical AI Alignment in 2018 and 2019 with Buck Shlegeris and Rohin Shah

FLI Podcast: Lessons from COVID-19 with Emilia Javorsky and Anthony Aguirre

The global spread of COVID-19 has put tremendous stress on humanity’s social, political, and economic systems. The breakdowns triggered by this sudden stress indicate areas where national and global systems are fragile, and where preventative and preparedness measures may be insufficient. The COVID-19 pandemic thus serves as an opportunity for reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of human civilization and what we can do to help make humanity more resilient. The Future of Life Institute's Emilia Javorsky and Anthony Aguirre join us on this special episode of the FLI Podcast to explore the lessons that might be learned from COVID-19 and the perspective this gives us for global catastrophic and existential risk. Topics discussed in this episode include: -The importance of taking expected value calculations seriously -The need for making accurate predictions -The difficulty of taking probabilities seriously -Human psychological bias around estimating and acting on risk -The massive online prediction solicitation and aggregation engine, Metaculus -The risks and benefits of synthetic biology in the 21st Century You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/04/08/lessons-from-covid-19-with-emilia-javorsky-and-anthony-aguirre/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 2:35 How has COVID-19 demonstrated weakness in human systems and risk preparedness 4:50 The importance of expected value calculations and considering risks over timescales 10:50 The importance of being able to make accurate predictions 14:15 The difficulty of trusting probabilities and acting on low probability high cost risks 21:22 Taking expected value calculations seriously 24:03 The lack of transparency, explanation, and context around how probabilities are estimated and shared 28:00 Diffusion of responsibility and other human psychological weaknesses in thinking about risk 38:19 What Metaculus is and its relevance to COVID-19 45:57 What is the accuracy of predictions on Metaculus and what has it said about COVID-19? 50:31 Lessons for existential risk from COVID-19 58:42 The risk of synthetic bio enabled pandemics in the 21st century 01:17:35 The extent to which COVID-19 poses challenges to democratic institutions This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

86 MINAPR 9
Comments
FLI Podcast: Lessons from COVID-19 with Emilia Javorsky and Anthony Aguirre

FLI Podcast: The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity with Toby Ord

Toby Ord’s “The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity" has emerged as a new cornerstone text in the field of existential risk. The book presents the foundations and recent developments of this budding field from an accessible vantage point, providing an overview suitable for newcomers. For those already familiar with existential risk, Toby brings new historical and academic context to the problem, along with central arguments for why existential risk matters, novel quantitative analysis and risk estimations, deep dives into the risks themselves, and tangible steps for mitigation. "The Precipice" thus serves as both a tremendous introduction to the topic and a rich source of further learning for existential risk veterans. Toby joins us on this episode of the Future of Life Institute Podcast to discuss this definitive work on what may be the most important topic of our time. Topics discussed in this episode include: -An overview of Toby's new book -What it means to be standing at the precipice and how we got here -Useful arguments for why existential risk matters -The risks themselves and their likelihoods -What we can do to safeguard humanity's potential You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/03/31/he-precipice-existential-risk-and-the-future-of-humanity-with-toby-ord/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 03:35 What the book is about 05:17 What does it mean for us to be standing at the precipice? 06:22 Historical cases of global catastrophic and existential risk in the real world 10:38 The development of humanity’s wisdom and power over time 15:53 Reaching existential escape velocity and humanity’s continued evolution 22:30 On effective altruism and writing the book for a general audience 25:53 Defining “existential risk” 28:19 What is compelling or important about humanity’s potential or future persons? 32:43 Various and broadly appealing arguments for why existential risk matters 50:46 Short overview of natural existential risks 54:33 Anthropogenic risks 58:35 The risks of engineered pandemics 01:02:43 Suggestions for working to mitigate x-risk and safeguard the potential of humanity 01:09:43 How and where to follow Toby and pick up his book This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

70 MINAPR 1
Comments
FLI Podcast: The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity with Toby Ord

AIAP: On Lethal Autonomous Weapons with Paul Scharre

Lethal autonomous weapons represent the novel miniaturization and integration of modern AI and robotics technologies for military use. This emerging technology thus represents a potentially critical inflection point in the development of AI governance. Whether we allow AI to make the decision to take human life and where we draw lines around the acceptable and unacceptable uses of this technology will set precedents and grounds for future international AI collaboration and governance. Such regulation efforts or lack thereof will also shape the kinds of weapons technologies that proliferate in the 21st century. On this episode of the AI Alignment Podcast, Paul Scharre joins us to discuss autonomous weapons, their potential benefits and risks, and the ongoing debate around the regulation of their development and use. Topics discussed in this episode include: -What autonomous weapons are and how they may be used -The debate around acceptable and unacceptable uses of autonomous weapons -Degrees and kinds of ways of integrating human decision making in autonomous weapons -Risks and benefits of autonomous weapons -Whether there is an arms race for autonomous weapons -How autonomous weapons issues may matter for AI alignment and long-term AI safety You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/03/16/on-lethal-autonomous-weapons-with-paul-scharre/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 3:50 Why care about autonomous weapons? 4:31 What are autonomous weapons? 06:47 What does “autonomy” mean? 09:13 Will we see autonomous weapons in civilian contexts? 11:29 How do we draw lines of acceptable and unacceptable uses of autonomous weapons? 24:34 Defining and exploring human “in the loop,” “on the loop,” and “out of loop” 31:14 The possibility of generating international lethal laws of robotics 36:15 Whether autonomous weapons will sanitize war and psychologically distance humans in detrimental ways 44:57 Are persons studying the psychological aspects of autonomous weapons use? 47:05 Risks of the accidental escalation of war and conflict 52:26 Is there an arms race for autonomous weapons? 01:00:10 Further clarifying what autonomous weapons are 01:05:33 Does the successful regulation of autonomous weapons matter for long-term AI alignment considerations? 01:09:25 Does Paul see AI as an existential risk? This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

76 MINMAR 17
Comments
AIAP: On Lethal Autonomous Weapons with Paul Scharre

FLI Podcast: Distributing the Benefits of AI via the Windfall Clause with Cullen O'Keefe

As with the agricultural and industrial revolutions before it, the intelligence revolution currently underway will unlock new degrees and kinds of abundance. Powerful forms of AI will likely generate never-before-seen levels of wealth, raising critical questions about its beneficiaries. Will this newfound wealth be used to provide for the common good, or will it become increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few who wield AI technologies? Cullen O'Keefe joins us on this episode of the FLI Podcast for a conversation about the Windfall Clause, a mechanism that attempts to ensure the abundance and wealth created by transformative AI benefits humanity globally. Topics discussed in this episode include: -What the Windfall Clause is and how it might function -The need for such a mechanism given AGI generated economic windfall -Problems the Windfall Clause would help to remedy -The mechanism for distributing windfall profit and the function for defining such profit -The legal permissibility of the Windfall Clause -Objections and alternatives to the Windfall Clause You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/02/28/distributing-the-benefits-of-ai-via-the-windfall-clause-with-cullen-okeefe/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 2:13 What is the Windfall Clause? 4:51 Why do we need a Windfall Clause? 06:01 When we might reach windfall profit and what that profit looks like 08:01 Motivations for the Windfall Clause and its ability to help with job loss 11:51 How the Windfall Clause improves allocation of economic windfall 16:22 The Windfall Clause assisting in a smooth transition to advanced AI systems 18:45 The Windfall Clause as assisting with general norm setting 20:26 The Windfall Clause as serving AI firms by generating goodwill, improving employee relations, and reducing political risk 23:02 The mechanism for distributing windfall profit and desiderata for guiding it’s formation 25:03 The windfall function and desiderata for guiding it’s formation 26:56 How the Windfall Clause is different from being a new taxation scheme 30:20 Developing the mechanism for distributing the windfall 32:56 The legal permissibility of the Windfall Clause in the United States 40:57 The legal permissibility of the Windfall Clause in China and the Cayman Islands 43:28 Historical precedents for the Windfall Clause 44:45 Objections to the Windfall Clause 57:54 Alternatives to the Windfall Clause 01:02:51 Final thoughts This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

64 MINFEB 29
Comments
FLI Podcast: Distributing the Benefits of AI via the Windfall Clause with Cullen O'Keefe

AIAP: On the Long-term Importance of Current AI Policy with Nicolas Moës and Jared Brown

From Max Tegmark's Life 3.0 to Stuart Russell's Human Compatible and Nick Bostrom'sSuperintelligence, much has been written and said about the long-term risks of powerful AI systems. When considering concrete actions one can take to help mitigate these risks, governance and policy related solutions become an attractive area of consideration. But just what can anyone do in the present day policy sphere to help ensure that powerful AI systems remain beneficial and aligned with human values? Do today's AI policies matter at all for AGI risk? Jared Brown and Nicolas Moës join us on today's podcast to explore these questions and the importance of AGI-risk sensitive persons' involvement in present day AI policy discourse. Topics discussed in this episode include: -The importance of current AI policy work for long-term AI risk -Where we currently stand in the process of forming AI policy -Why persons worried about existential risk should care about present day AI policy -AI and the global community -The rationality and irrationality around AI race narratives You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/02/17/on-the-long-term-importance-of-current-ai-policy-with-nicolas-moes-and-jared-brown/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 4:58 Why it’s important to work on AI policy 12:08 Our historical position in the process of AI policy 21:54 For long-termists and those concerned about AGI risk, how is AI policy today important and relevant? 33:46 AI policy and shorter-term global catastrophic and existential risks 38:18 The Brussels and Sacramento effects 41:23 Why is racing on AI technology bad? 48:45 The rationality of racing to AGI 58:22 Where is AI policy currently? This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

71 MINFEB 18
Comments
AIAP: On the Long-term Importance of Current AI Policy with Nicolas Moës and Jared Brown

FLI Podcast: Identity, Information & the Nature of Reality with Anthony Aguirre

Our perceptions of reality are based on the physics of interactions ranging from millimeters to miles in scale. But when it comes to the very small and the very massive, our intuitions often fail us. Given the extent to which modern physics challenges our understanding of the world around us, how wrong could we be about the fundamental nature of reality? And given our failure to anticipate the counterintuitive nature of the universe, how accurate are our intuitions about metaphysical and personal identity? Just how seriously should we take our everyday experiences of the world? Anthony Aguirre, cosmologist and FLI co-founder, returns for a second episode to offer his perspective on these complex questions. This conversation explores the view that reality fundamentally consists of information and examines its implications for our understandings of existence and identity. Topics discussed in this episode include: - Views on the nature of reality - Quantum mechanics and the implication...

105 MINFEB 1
Comments
FLI Podcast: Identity, Information & the Nature of Reality with Anthony Aguirre

Latest Episodes

Sam Harris on Global Priorities, Existential Risk, and What Matters Most

Human civilization increasingly has the potential both to improve the lives of everyone and to completely destroy everything. The proliferation of emerging technologies calls our attention to this never-before-seen power — and the need to cultivate the wisdom with which to steer it towards beneficial outcomes. If we're serious both as individuals and as a species about improving the world, it's crucial that we converge around the reality of our situation and what matters most. What are the most important problems in the world today and why? In this episode of the Future of Life Institute Podcast, Sam Harris joins us to discuss some of these global priorities, the ethics surrounding them, and what we can do to address them. Topics discussed in this episode include: -The problem of communication -Global priorities -Existential risk -Animal suffering in both wild animals and factory farmed animals -Global poverty -Artificial general intelligence risk and AI alignment -Ethics -Sam’s b...

92 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Sam Harris on Global Priorities, Existential Risk, and What Matters Most

FLI Podcast: On the Future of Computation, Synthetic Biology, and Life with George Church

Progress in synthetic biology and genetic engineering promise to bring advancements in human health sciences by curing disease, augmenting human capabilities, and even reversing aging. At the same time, such technology could be used to unleash novel diseases and biological agents which could pose global catastrophic and existential risks to life on Earth. George Church, a titan of synthetic biology, joins us on this episode of the FLI Podcast to discuss the benefits and risks of our growing knowledge of synthetic biology, its role in the future of life, and what we can do to make sure it remains beneficial. Will our wisdom keep pace with our expanding capabilities? Topics discussed in this episode include: -Existential risk -Computational substrates and AGI -Genetics and aging -Risks of synthetic biology -Obstacles to space colonization -Great Filters, consciousness, and eliminating suffering You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/05/15/on-the-fut...

73 MIN2 w ago
Comments
FLI Podcast: On the Future of Computation, Synthetic Biology, and Life with George Church

FLI Podcast: On Superforecasting with Robert de Neufville

Essential to our assessment of risk and ability to plan for the future is our understanding of the probability of certain events occurring. If we can estimate the likelihood of risks, then we can evaluate their relative importance and apply our risk mitigation resources effectively. Predicting the future is, obviously, far from easy — and yet a community of "superforecasters" are attempting to do just that. Not only are they trying, but these superforecasters are also reliably outperforming subject matter experts at making predictions in their own fields. Robert de Neufville joins us on this episode of the FLI Podcast to explain what superforecasting is, how it's done, and the ways it can help us with crucial decision making. Topics discussed in this episode include: -What superforecasting is and what the community looks like -How superforecasting is done and its potential use in decision making -The challenges of making predictions -Predictions about and lessons from COVID-19 You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/04/30/on-superforecasting-with-robert-de-neufville/ You can take a survey about the podcast here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/W8YLYD3 You can submit a nominee for the Future of Life Award here: https://futureoflife.org/future-of-life-award-unsung-hero-search/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 5:00 What is superforecasting? 7:22 Who are superforecasters and where did they come from? 10:43 How is superforecasting done and what are the relevant skills? 15:12 Developing a better understanding of probabilities 18:42 How is it that superforecasters are better at making predictions than subject matter experts? 21:43 COVID-19 and a failure to understand exponentials 24:27 What organizations and platforms exist in the space of superforecasting? 27:31 Whats up for consideration in an actual forecast 28:55 How are forecasts aggregated? Are they used? 31:37 How accurate are superforecasters? 34:34 How is superforecasting complementary to global catastrophic risk research and efforts? 39:15 The kinds of superforecasting platforms that exist 43:00 How accurate can we get around global catastrophic and existential risks? 46:20 How to deal with extremely rare risk and how to evaluate your prediction after the fact 53:33 Superforecasting, expected value calculations, and their use in decision making 56:46 Failure to prepare for COVID-19 and if superforecasting will be increasingly applied to critical decision making 01:01:55 What can we do to improve the use of superforecasting? 01:02:54 Forecasts about COVID-19 01:11:43 How do you convince others of your ability as a superforecaster? 01:13:55 Expanding the kinds of questions we do forecasting on 01:15:49 How to utilize subject experts and superforecasters 01:17:54 Where to find and follow Robert This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

80 MINMAY 1
Comments
FLI Podcast: On Superforecasting with Robert de Neufville

AIAP: An Overview of Technical AI Alignment in 2018 and 2019 with Buck Shlegeris and Rohin Shah

Just a year ago we released a two part episode titled An Overview of Technical AI Alignment with Rohin Shah. That conversation provided details on the views of central AI alignment research organizations and many of the ongoing research efforts for designing safe and aligned systems. Much has happened in the past twelve months, so we've invited Rohin — along with fellow researcher Buck Shlegeris — back for a follow-up conversation. Today's episode focuses especially on the state of current research efforts for beneficial AI, as well as Buck's and Rohin's thoughts about the varying approaches and the difficulties we still face. This podcast thus serves as a non-exhaustive overview of how the field of AI alignment has updated and how thinking is progressing. Topics discussed in this episode include: -Rohin's and Buck's optimism and pessimism about different approaches to aligned AI -Traditional arguments for AI as an x-risk -Modeling agents as expected utility maximizers -Ambitious ...

141 MINAPR 16
Comments
AIAP: An Overview of Technical AI Alignment in 2018 and 2019 with Buck Shlegeris and Rohin Shah

FLI Podcast: Lessons from COVID-19 with Emilia Javorsky and Anthony Aguirre

The global spread of COVID-19 has put tremendous stress on humanity’s social, political, and economic systems. The breakdowns triggered by this sudden stress indicate areas where national and global systems are fragile, and where preventative and preparedness measures may be insufficient. The COVID-19 pandemic thus serves as an opportunity for reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of human civilization and what we can do to help make humanity more resilient. The Future of Life Institute's Emilia Javorsky and Anthony Aguirre join us on this special episode of the FLI Podcast to explore the lessons that might be learned from COVID-19 and the perspective this gives us for global catastrophic and existential risk. Topics discussed in this episode include: -The importance of taking expected value calculations seriously -The need for making accurate predictions -The difficulty of taking probabilities seriously -Human psychological bias around estimating and acting on risk -The massive online prediction solicitation and aggregation engine, Metaculus -The risks and benefits of synthetic biology in the 21st Century You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/04/08/lessons-from-covid-19-with-emilia-javorsky-and-anthony-aguirre/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 2:35 How has COVID-19 demonstrated weakness in human systems and risk preparedness 4:50 The importance of expected value calculations and considering risks over timescales 10:50 The importance of being able to make accurate predictions 14:15 The difficulty of trusting probabilities and acting on low probability high cost risks 21:22 Taking expected value calculations seriously 24:03 The lack of transparency, explanation, and context around how probabilities are estimated and shared 28:00 Diffusion of responsibility and other human psychological weaknesses in thinking about risk 38:19 What Metaculus is and its relevance to COVID-19 45:57 What is the accuracy of predictions on Metaculus and what has it said about COVID-19? 50:31 Lessons for existential risk from COVID-19 58:42 The risk of synthetic bio enabled pandemics in the 21st century 01:17:35 The extent to which COVID-19 poses challenges to democratic institutions This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

86 MINAPR 9
Comments
FLI Podcast: Lessons from COVID-19 with Emilia Javorsky and Anthony Aguirre

FLI Podcast: The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity with Toby Ord

Toby Ord’s “The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity" has emerged as a new cornerstone text in the field of existential risk. The book presents the foundations and recent developments of this budding field from an accessible vantage point, providing an overview suitable for newcomers. For those already familiar with existential risk, Toby brings new historical and academic context to the problem, along with central arguments for why existential risk matters, novel quantitative analysis and risk estimations, deep dives into the risks themselves, and tangible steps for mitigation. "The Precipice" thus serves as both a tremendous introduction to the topic and a rich source of further learning for existential risk veterans. Toby joins us on this episode of the Future of Life Institute Podcast to discuss this definitive work on what may be the most important topic of our time. Topics discussed in this episode include: -An overview of Toby's new book -What it means to be standing at the precipice and how we got here -Useful arguments for why existential risk matters -The risks themselves and their likelihoods -What we can do to safeguard humanity's potential You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/03/31/he-precipice-existential-risk-and-the-future-of-humanity-with-toby-ord/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 03:35 What the book is about 05:17 What does it mean for us to be standing at the precipice? 06:22 Historical cases of global catastrophic and existential risk in the real world 10:38 The development of humanity’s wisdom and power over time 15:53 Reaching existential escape velocity and humanity’s continued evolution 22:30 On effective altruism and writing the book for a general audience 25:53 Defining “existential risk” 28:19 What is compelling or important about humanity’s potential or future persons? 32:43 Various and broadly appealing arguments for why existential risk matters 50:46 Short overview of natural existential risks 54:33 Anthropogenic risks 58:35 The risks of engineered pandemics 01:02:43 Suggestions for working to mitigate x-risk and safeguard the potential of humanity 01:09:43 How and where to follow Toby and pick up his book This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

70 MINAPR 1
Comments
FLI Podcast: The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity with Toby Ord

AIAP: On Lethal Autonomous Weapons with Paul Scharre

Lethal autonomous weapons represent the novel miniaturization and integration of modern AI and robotics technologies for military use. This emerging technology thus represents a potentially critical inflection point in the development of AI governance. Whether we allow AI to make the decision to take human life and where we draw lines around the acceptable and unacceptable uses of this technology will set precedents and grounds for future international AI collaboration and governance. Such regulation efforts or lack thereof will also shape the kinds of weapons technologies that proliferate in the 21st century. On this episode of the AI Alignment Podcast, Paul Scharre joins us to discuss autonomous weapons, their potential benefits and risks, and the ongoing debate around the regulation of their development and use. Topics discussed in this episode include: -What autonomous weapons are and how they may be used -The debate around acceptable and unacceptable uses of autonomous weapons -Degrees and kinds of ways of integrating human decision making in autonomous weapons -Risks and benefits of autonomous weapons -Whether there is an arms race for autonomous weapons -How autonomous weapons issues may matter for AI alignment and long-term AI safety You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/03/16/on-lethal-autonomous-weapons-with-paul-scharre/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 3:50 Why care about autonomous weapons? 4:31 What are autonomous weapons? 06:47 What does “autonomy” mean? 09:13 Will we see autonomous weapons in civilian contexts? 11:29 How do we draw lines of acceptable and unacceptable uses of autonomous weapons? 24:34 Defining and exploring human “in the loop,” “on the loop,” and “out of loop” 31:14 The possibility of generating international lethal laws of robotics 36:15 Whether autonomous weapons will sanitize war and psychologically distance humans in detrimental ways 44:57 Are persons studying the psychological aspects of autonomous weapons use? 47:05 Risks of the accidental escalation of war and conflict 52:26 Is there an arms race for autonomous weapons? 01:00:10 Further clarifying what autonomous weapons are 01:05:33 Does the successful regulation of autonomous weapons matter for long-term AI alignment considerations? 01:09:25 Does Paul see AI as an existential risk? This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

76 MINMAR 17
Comments
AIAP: On Lethal Autonomous Weapons with Paul Scharre

FLI Podcast: Distributing the Benefits of AI via the Windfall Clause with Cullen O'Keefe

As with the agricultural and industrial revolutions before it, the intelligence revolution currently underway will unlock new degrees and kinds of abundance. Powerful forms of AI will likely generate never-before-seen levels of wealth, raising critical questions about its beneficiaries. Will this newfound wealth be used to provide for the common good, or will it become increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few who wield AI technologies? Cullen O'Keefe joins us on this episode of the FLI Podcast for a conversation about the Windfall Clause, a mechanism that attempts to ensure the abundance and wealth created by transformative AI benefits humanity globally. Topics discussed in this episode include: -What the Windfall Clause is and how it might function -The need for such a mechanism given AGI generated economic windfall -Problems the Windfall Clause would help to remedy -The mechanism for distributing windfall profit and the function for defining such profit -The legal permissibility of the Windfall Clause -Objections and alternatives to the Windfall Clause You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/02/28/distributing-the-benefits-of-ai-via-the-windfall-clause-with-cullen-okeefe/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 2:13 What is the Windfall Clause? 4:51 Why do we need a Windfall Clause? 06:01 When we might reach windfall profit and what that profit looks like 08:01 Motivations for the Windfall Clause and its ability to help with job loss 11:51 How the Windfall Clause improves allocation of economic windfall 16:22 The Windfall Clause assisting in a smooth transition to advanced AI systems 18:45 The Windfall Clause as assisting with general norm setting 20:26 The Windfall Clause as serving AI firms by generating goodwill, improving employee relations, and reducing political risk 23:02 The mechanism for distributing windfall profit and desiderata for guiding it’s formation 25:03 The windfall function and desiderata for guiding it’s formation 26:56 How the Windfall Clause is different from being a new taxation scheme 30:20 Developing the mechanism for distributing the windfall 32:56 The legal permissibility of the Windfall Clause in the United States 40:57 The legal permissibility of the Windfall Clause in China and the Cayman Islands 43:28 Historical precedents for the Windfall Clause 44:45 Objections to the Windfall Clause 57:54 Alternatives to the Windfall Clause 01:02:51 Final thoughts This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

64 MINFEB 29
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FLI Podcast: Distributing the Benefits of AI via the Windfall Clause with Cullen O'Keefe

AIAP: On the Long-term Importance of Current AI Policy with Nicolas Moës and Jared Brown

From Max Tegmark's Life 3.0 to Stuart Russell's Human Compatible and Nick Bostrom'sSuperintelligence, much has been written and said about the long-term risks of powerful AI systems. When considering concrete actions one can take to help mitigate these risks, governance and policy related solutions become an attractive area of consideration. But just what can anyone do in the present day policy sphere to help ensure that powerful AI systems remain beneficial and aligned with human values? Do today's AI policies matter at all for AGI risk? Jared Brown and Nicolas Moës join us on today's podcast to explore these questions and the importance of AGI-risk sensitive persons' involvement in present day AI policy discourse. Topics discussed in this episode include: -The importance of current AI policy work for long-term AI risk -Where we currently stand in the process of forming AI policy -Why persons worried about existential risk should care about present day AI policy -AI and the global community -The rationality and irrationality around AI race narratives You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/02/17/on-the-long-term-importance-of-current-ai-policy-with-nicolas-moes-and-jared-brown/ Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 4:58 Why it’s important to work on AI policy 12:08 Our historical position in the process of AI policy 21:54 For long-termists and those concerned about AGI risk, how is AI policy today important and relevant? 33:46 AI policy and shorter-term global catastrophic and existential risks 38:18 The Brussels and Sacramento effects 41:23 Why is racing on AI technology bad? 48:45 The rationality of racing to AGI 58:22 Where is AI policy currently? This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.

71 MINFEB 18
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AIAP: On the Long-term Importance of Current AI Policy with Nicolas Moës and Jared Brown

FLI Podcast: Identity, Information & the Nature of Reality with Anthony Aguirre

Our perceptions of reality are based on the physics of interactions ranging from millimeters to miles in scale. But when it comes to the very small and the very massive, our intuitions often fail us. Given the extent to which modern physics challenges our understanding of the world around us, how wrong could we be about the fundamental nature of reality? And given our failure to anticipate the counterintuitive nature of the universe, how accurate are our intuitions about metaphysical and personal identity? Just how seriously should we take our everyday experiences of the world? Anthony Aguirre, cosmologist and FLI co-founder, returns for a second episode to offer his perspective on these complex questions. This conversation explores the view that reality fundamentally consists of information and examines its implications for our understandings of existence and identity. Topics discussed in this episode include: - Views on the nature of reality - Quantum mechanics and the implication...

105 MINFEB 1
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FLI Podcast: Identity, Information & the Nature of Reality with Anthony Aguirre
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