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Rachel Waddell: GiveDirectly’s emergency cash response to COVID-19

September 7, 2020

In this EAGxVirtual talk, Rachel Waddell provides an overview of GiveDirectly's rapid response to COVID-19 across its countries of operation. She focuses on remote responses launched in Uganda and Kenya, in partnership with local community-based organizations (CBOs) and telecommunications partners.

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Kevin Esvelt: Mitigating catastrophic biorisks

September 3, 2020

In a world now painfully aware of pandemics, and with ever-increasing access to autonomous biological agents, how can we help channel society’s response to COVID-19 to minimize the risk of deliberate misuse? Using the challenge of securing DNA synthesis as an example, Kevin Esvelt outlines the key norms and incentives governing biotechnology, lays out potential strategies for reform, and suggests ways in which thoughtful individuals might safely and credibly discuss and mitigate biorisks without spreading information hazards.

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Q&A with Will MacAskill

August 31, 2020

William MacAskill is an associate professor in philosophy at Oxford University. He was educated at Cambridge, Princeton, and Oxford, and is one of the progenitors of the effective altruism movement. His book on the topic, Doing Good Better, was published by Penguin Random House in 2015. He is the co-founder of three non-profits in the effective altruism movement: Giving What We Can, 80,000 Hours, and the Centre for Effective Altruism, and is also a research fellow at the Global Priorities Institute.

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Asya Bergal: Reasons you might think human-level AI is unlikely to happen soon

August 26, 2020

If we knew that human-level AI couldn’t be produced within the next 20 years, we would take different actions to improve the long-term future. Asya Bergal of AI Impacts talks about her investigations into why people say we won’t soon have human-level AI, including survey data, trends in “compute,” and arguments that current machine-learning techniques are insufficient.

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Johannes Ackva: An update to our thinking on climate change

August 24, 2020

In this talk and Q&A, Johannes Ackva, a researcher at Founders Pledge, presents the organization's thinking on effective climate solutions. He shares insights from their latest research, including a novel framing of the issue, key conclusions from their report on climate and lifestyle, updates on their research on high-impact charities, and more.

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Jasper Synowski and Clare Donaldson: Identifying the most cost-effective programmes to improve mental health

August 21, 2020

Even though mental disorders account for a considerable burden of disease globally and appear to strongly impact individuals’ subjective well-being, the effective altruism (EA) community has spent relatively little effort on identifying the best giving opportunities within the area of mental health.

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Marianne van der Werf: Animal advocacy in a global context

August 20, 2020

Animal suffering is a global problem that requires action on a global level. How can we think about effectiveness across geographical and cultural contexts? How can North American and European advocates support advocacy in other parts of the world, such as India and China, in responsible and impactful ways? In this talk, Marianne van der Werf of Animal Charity Evaluators explores the pros and cons of different approaches to international advocacy.

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Leah Garcés: Identifying opportunities for farmed animals

August 5, 2020

What if a single tool could utilize animal numbers as well as economic, political, and cultural data from a multitude of countries to help effective altruists identify where and how they can make the greatest impact for animals? Learn about the new Farmed Animal Opportunities Index, an open-source tool that offers a research-backed formula for evaluating high-impact opportunities to help animals.

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Tyler John: Representing future generations

August 3, 2020

Politics is a notoriously short-termist enterprise. Political institutions generally operate on timescales of two to four years (as the issue of climate change has shown). But this is not necessary or inevitable. In principle, the immense wealth, influence, and coercive authority of national governments could be used to vastly improve the long-term future. In this talk, Tyler analyzes major sources of political short-termism and describes high-priority institutional reforms that could improve alignment between the incentives of present governments and the interests of future generations.

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Joan Gass: Opening talk

July 31, 2020

Joan Gass, Managing Director at the Centre for Effective Altruism, gives the opening talk for the EA Global 2020 Virtual Conference. She discusses what she values in the EA community, shares the story of how she became involved in it, and reflects on where the movement has been in the past decade — and could be headed next.

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