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December 5, 2017

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It's the season for charity recommendations. GiveWell has two new top recommendations this year: Evidence Action’s No Lean Season program and Helen Keller International’s vitamin A supplementation program.

The Life You Can Save also has an updated list of 20 charities they recommend.

Animal Charity Evaluators welcomes Animal Equality back to their top recommendations and continues to recommend the Good Food Institute and The Humane League.

Some donors prefer entrusting their donation to a fund manager who is an expert in a cause area and can potentially find better opportunities that are too small or uncertain to recommend to the broader public. For these we have the Effective Altruism Funds (more info).

The team

Articles

In his annual gift guide, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times recommends donating to Deworm the World and the Against Malaria Foundation (among others) as well as checking out GiveWell.

Professor Philip Tetlock, author of “Superforecasting”, discusses his research on the 80,000 Hours podcast. Hear his thoughts on predicting political events, why to keep your politics secret and when experts know more than you.

There’s a significant increase in attention being paid to the global problem of mental health as a neglected cause area in effective altruism. Read more on this topic in this short Project Syndicate article by Michael Plant and Peter Singer, and this shallow overview by Elizabeth Van Nostrand.

DeepMind illustrates some AI safety problems for the layman and the researcher.

An EA-aligned charity with potential for high cost-effectiveness in both the global poverty and existential risk spaces? Enter the Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters (ALLFED).

We should always be mindful of other potentially important, neglected, and tractable causes out there. This analysis investigates to what extent reducing suffering in North Korea through interventions like political pressure and safe escape routes fits the ITN framework.

What makes a startup high-impact? This succinct post by Michael Peyton Jones provides a quick overview.

80,000 Hours released a survey of core EA leaders on “talent gaps”: skills they believe to be exceptionally important and lacking within the EA community.

Announcements and Calls to Action

Giving What We Can Pledge Campaign

The giving season is time for the Giving What We Can pledge campaign! Join the Facebook event to get suggestions on effective giving. Whether you're looking for effective charities to make a first donation to, want to take a short-term Try Giving pledge, or are ready to take the full 10% Giving What We Can pledge, this is a great time to get in touch.

MIRI Fundraiser

The Machine Intelligence Research Institute is running their annual fundraiser through the end of December. Their announcement post outlines recent research developments at MIRI and includes a breakdown of how MIRI views the larger AI strategy space.

Project for Awesome 2017

Make videos and win money for top charities! Project for Awesome takes place on December 15th-17th, and we get to influence where money is donated by making and voting on videos. Last year, the EA community influenced $50,000 of donations, and this year we are hoping to direct $100,000 to top charities. To learn more and get involved, join our facebook group.

Innovations for Effective Fundraising

Please consider taking a few minutes to respond to their survey, as they work on furthering our understanding of altruistic giving. This academic project is run in collaboration with the Centre for Effective Altruism and funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.

Updates

80,000 Hours

Released a major survey of talent needs in the community and 6 podcasts (Prof Tetlock on Superforecasting, speeding up social science, Nick Beckstead from Open Phil, VR to reduce animal cruelty, JPAL on evidence-based development, preventing the next Ebola). Right now they are working on their annual review and will do their annual fundraiser at the end of Dec.

Centre for Effective Altruism

CEA has updated the introduction to effective altruism on effectivealtruism.org. The article is a useful summary worth sharing. They've also added a lot of additional resources to the website, including transcripts from many of the EA Global talks. Check these out for articles on making sense of long-term indirect effects, reasons to care about the long-term future, Effective Altruism in Government and more.

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

New horizon-scan paper identifying 20 emerging issues in bio-engineering. Three new videos: a short video intro to existential risk (starring Lord Martin Rees), the family of world-saver Vasili Archipov thanked by CSER’s co-founders (video), and a Max Tegmark lecture on his new AI book. Also a new Parliamentary group for future generations, welcoming the world’s first advisory body for AI in the UK, coalition-building on climate change at the Vatican and on AI in Japan.

Effective Altruism Foundation

Over 320 people participated in the EAGxBerlin conference organized by EAF. The talk recordings are now available online.

Foundational Research Institute

FRI’s advisor Brian Tomasik published a new piece on “suffering subroutines”, which are sub-agents that might be seen as suffering to varying degrees.

Future of Humanity Institute

FHI is hosting a side event on existential risk and giving presentations at the UN Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva. FHI researchers are presenting at this year's NIPS, and hosting an AI Safety lunch at the event.

GiveWell

GiveWell announced their new top charities for the 2017 giving season. They added two new charities, Helen Keller International's vitamin A supplementation program and Evidence Action's No Lean Season, to their list and retained the seven charities they recommended in 2016.

Machine Intelligence Research Institute

MIRI has a new book out, Inadequate Equilibria: Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck, on the general topic of when individuals should expect to be able to identify institutional failures and low-hanging fruit in society. MIRI also has a new overview paper out on decision theory, a blog post out on computer security and AI safety (“Security Mindset and Ordinary Paranoia”), and a post on predicting AI (“There’s No Fire Alarm for Artificial General Intelligence”).

Open Philanthropy Project

The Open Philanthropy Project announced several grants last month, including $3,750,000 over three years to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and $2,110,460 to expand Animal Equality’s farm animal welfare work in Europe. Program Officer Nick Beckstead published a blog post providing an update on Open Philanthropy's investigation into neglected goals in biological research.

Rethink Charity

Rethink Charity has launched RC Forward, Canada’s first cause-neutral donation routing fund for high-impact charities around the world. Donors can choose from four cause-specific funds and nine effective charities. Visit RC Forward or email baxter@rtcharity.org to learn more.

The Life You Can Save

Just out: The Life You Can Save's new list of Best Charities to support for Giving Season and the coming year, including new additions D-Rev and Helen Keller International's Vitamin A Supplementation program.

Wild-Animal Suffering Research

The Wild-Animal Suffering Research project published two papers on metrics of wild-animal suffering and the prevalence of disease and parasitism in the wild. Ozy Brennan developed a research proposal on establishing welfare biology as an academic discipline. They shared their 2017 Retrospective on the EA Forum and will publish their plans for 2018 and launch their end of year fundraiser in the first week of December.

Timeless Classics

The willingness to change one’s mind when faced with better evidence is key to effective altruism. It’s hard to make progress when you can never admit to being wrong! In 2016, Holden Karnofsky, co-founder of GiveWell and Executive Director of the Open Philantropy Project wrote about three key issues he changed his mind on: potential risks from AI, the EA community and promising-looking projects without strong feedback loops.

Also on the topic of changing your mind: How to Actually Change Your Mind, the second book in “Rationality: A-Z” from Eliezer Yudkowsky.

Jobs

Scott Weathers is looking for people who are also considering to start a plant-based meat startup.

Fundraising Intern at Charity Science Health

Various jobs at Evidence Action, incl. a Deputy Director to manage Deworm the World and a Program Director to lead No Lean Season.

Executive Assistant to Nick Bostrom, Post-doc in AI Safety and AI Safety Research Scientist at the Future of Humanity Institute

Various positions, incl. Director of Operations, at GiveWell

Multiple opportunities at the Global Innovation Fund

8+ jobs and internships at the Good Food Institute

Annual recruitment drive (140+ positions) at the J-PAL Poverty Action Lab


Go forth and do the most good!
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This is an archived version of the EA Newsletter sent to 48,884 subscribers on December 5, 2017.
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