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EA Newsletter October 4, 2018

Effective Altruism Newsletter

October 4, 2018

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From Agitator to Innovator

October 2, 2018

By following his ethical principles and paying attention to what worked, Bruce Friedrich went from volunteering at a soup kitchen to being the Executive Director of the Good Food Institute. In this talk from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, Bruce describes his own personal and professional journey, explains why he’s optimistic about plant-based meat and “clean meat” and offers advice for people hoping to embark on careers in his field. A transcript of Bruce's talk is below, followed by questions from the audience.

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Analyzing AI Actors

September 28, 2018

Who would you rather have access to human-level artificial intelligence: the US government, Google, the Chinese government or Baidu? The biggest governments and tech firms are the most likely to develop advanced AI, so understanding their goals, abilities and constraints is a vital part of predicting AI’s trajectory. In this talk from EA Global 2018: San Francisco, Jade Leung explores how we can think about major players in AI, including an informative case study. Below is a transcript of Jade's talk, including questions from the audience answered both by herself and Carrick Flynn, which we have lightly edited for readability.

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AI Governance Landscape

September 25, 2018

The development of artificial intelligence is well-poised to massively change the world. It’s possible that AI could make life better for all of us, but many experts think there’s a non-negligible chance that the overall impact of AI could be extremely bad. In this talk from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, Carrick Flynn lays out what we know from history about controlling powerful technologies, and what the tiny field of AI governance is doing to help AI go well. Below is a transcript of Carrick's talk, which we have lightly edited for readability.

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Reconciling International Security

September 21, 2018

Many effective altruists prioritize reducing existential risks. The international security community also works to lower the odds of certain sorts of existential risks, such as nuclear war. But if we want to work together with them, we’ll need to understand their perspective, which may be quite different from that of outsiders. In this talk from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, Seth Baum describes the international security perspective on nuclear weapons, and touches on how some of this may apply to risks from artificial intelligence, too. Below is a transcript of Seth's talk, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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GiveWell Incubation Grants (2018)

September 18, 2018

GiveWell’s top charities have to meet a very high standard in several ways, including ways that promising charities may not always prioritize. So in recent years, GiveWell has been providing grants to promising charities to help them, if all goes well, achieve top charity status. In this talk from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, Catherine Hollander explains how GiveWell’s Incubation Grants function, and why they’re an exciting addition to GiveWell’s charity evaluation work. A transcript of Catherine's talk is below, including questions from the audience.

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The Far Future of Intelligent Life Across the Universe

September 14, 2018

The idea of space colonization has captured the human imagination for centuries, but only recently has anyone tried figuring out how it might look in practice. In this talk from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, Stuart Armstrong explores how a technologically mature humanity might explore the cosmos. A transcript of Stuart's talk is below, including questions from the audience, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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Pandemic Pathogens

September 11, 2018

A sufficiently bad disease could have disastrous effects for humanity, like the 1918 flu, black plague, or even worse. But to protect ourselves as a species from global catastrophic biological risks (GCBRs), we need to know which features make a pathogen more or less likely to pose an existential threat. In this advanced talk from EA Global 2018: San Francisco, Dr. Amesh Adalja covers what types of pathogens are most likely, which transmission methods to worry about the most, and many more considerations for anticipating and preventing GCBRs. A transcript of Amesh's talk is below, including questions from the audience.

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Clean Meat

September 7, 2018

“Clean meat”, or meat grown independently from an animal nervous system, is one of the most promising interventions for reducing animal suffering; if we can more cheaply create meat without hurting animals, then market forces could reduce or eliminate factory farming for good. In this talk from EA Global 2018: San Francisco, Marie Gibbons describes the technical details of scientific progress toward clean meat, and Natalie Cargill explores recent surveys of public opinion on the topic. A transcript of their talk is below, including questions from the audience, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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EA Newsletter September 6, 2018

Effective Altruism Newsletter

September 6, 2018

We hope you had a good summer/winter.

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