EA Newsletter: April 13, 2018

Effective Altruism Newsletter

April 13, 2018

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Happy vernal and autumnal equinox, readers! We hope you enjoy the latest offering of news and ideas from the effective altruism community.

The Team


Currently there’s an unusually large number of operations positions open in the effective altruism community. Have a look at this 80,000 Hours article on why that’s the case, why operations roles are high-impact and a list of open positions.

Lewis Bollard, the fund manager of the EA Animal Welfare Fund, recently recommended new disbursements of $750K to 17 groups around the world.

Animal Charity Evaluators published a report evaluating the effectiveness of protests in animal advocacy. They advance modest support for investment in this kind of intervention based on it’s cost effectiveness and relative neglect in contrast to existing alternatives.

Give Directly recently launched Cash for Refugees. Having initiated a pilot in Uganda in 2017, they are looking to scale the project, which will target refugees said to be in “protracted exile”, several years after displacement.

Steven Pinker’s latest publication “Enlightenment Now” argues that the world is getting better in almost every metric. Have a look at Scott Aaronson’s summary and review to get a taste.

Meanwhile the Czech Association for Effective Altruism released the first of a two part report demonstrating how they used analysis of the country’s comparative advantages to identify the most strategic avenues to impact.

In this EA forum post Ben Todd explores potential risks and pitfalls of expanding effective altruism to different culture and language communities.

Announcements & Calls to Action

Dates of upcoming community-organized Effective Altruism Global X (EAGx) conferences have been released. This year, they’re taking place in Boston (21 April), the Netherlands (29 June-1 July) and Australia (14-15 July).

Are you interested in pursuing an AI public policy career path in the US?  If so, please could you complete this survey from 80,000 Hours.  80,000 Hours intends to offer free one-on-one advice and connections to survey respondents who they are particularly well positioned to help.

Timeless Classics

Having mentioned the release of “Enlightenment Now”, Paul Christiano’s “On Progress and Prosperity” is especially relevant. Christiano challenges that merely accelerating progress is a competitive means of improving utility in the long-term, positing that eventually our distant descendents are likely to “live in a world that is ‘saturated,’ where progress has run its course”. He also stresses that the most permanent repercussions for human affairs are those of our own making, and mostly technological.


80,000 Hours

Announced that they filled their funding targets, released a test explainer video, a career review on commercial law, a new podcast page, and 3 podcasts (AI technical research with a DeepMind researcher; EA strategy; how to cut suicide rates).

Animal Charity Evaluators

Animal Charity Evaluators has created a recommended charity quiz to help donors identify the charities that best align with their values. They also published an intervention report evaluating the effectiveness of protests.

Centre for Effective Altruism

The theme for EA Global this year is Stay Curious – if you’re planning to attend the conference in San Francisco 8-10 June, make sure you apply ASAP. CEA also updated their Involvement Guide which is a comprehensive list of the ways in which you can engage with effective altruism.

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

Lord Martin Rees paid tribute to his colleague Stephen Hawking. CSER is hiring for a post-doc to work on horizon-scanning/foresight. CSER participated in two major private workshops on AI.

Centre for the Future of Intelligence

CFI welcomed the new £5m Ada Lovelace Institute, which will examine the ethical and social issues arising from the use of algorithms, data and artificial intelligence.

Future of Humanity Institute

FHI, in collaborating with Ought, is collecting data for an AI Safety project. You'll play a game about Fermi estimation or political fact-checking and get feedback on your progress. No signup required.

Foundational Research Institute

In a new article, researcher David Althaus outlines a framework for the implications of population ethics for cause prioritization, and identifies areas for further research in descriptive ethics.


GiveWell published a blog post on a grant to the Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention as a case study for its broader interest in exploring policy advocacy opportunities.

Open Philanthropy Project

The Open Philanthropy Project announced grants of $3M to MIT's Synthetic Neurobiology Group, $1.3M to The Justice Collaborative, and $1.2M to the Center for Popular Democracy's Fed Up Campaign, and published blog posts about grant check-in process, managing funder-grantee dynamics, and progress in 2017 and plans for 2018.

Sentience Institute

In a new TEDx talk, SI’s Research Director shares the social and technological forces paving the way to the end of animal farming. His upcoming book, The End of Animal Farming: How Scientists, Entrepreneurs, and Activists Are Building an Animal-Free Food System will be released in November.


AI Summer Fellows Program

EA Grants Evaluator at CEA

Workshop Operations Lead at CFAR

Ethics & Politics Researcher at Deep Mind

Senior Administrator at FHI and GPI

Several jobs at GiveWell

Several positions are available at OpenPhil. To learn more about working at OpenPhil, read their AMA, hosted by Holden Karnofsky:

Research Associate at Y Combinator Research (Basic Income Study)

80,000 Hours Jobs Board: https://80000hours.org/job-board/ 

The Effective Altruism Newsletter is a joint project between the Centre for Effective Altruism and Rethink Charity

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