Intelligence Amplification Interview

Ryan Carey and I discussed intelligence amplification as an altruistic endeavor with Gwern Branwen. Here (docx) (pdf) is a summary of Gwern’s views. Also more permanently locatable on my website.

7 responses to “Intelligence Amplification Interview

  1. I find these sorts of conversion notes interesting, and very efficient for finding out quickly about ideas I might want to learn more on. (Recorded audio has a much higher barrier to entry.) Thanks very much for taking the time to write it up.

  2. Thanks for sharing. :)

    It’s not obvious to me whether IA is a good thing or bad thing for the far future. Luke discussed this on LessWrong ( How confident are you that IA is good?

    At first glance, I would see IA as basically neutral in expectation, because it seems to be mainly speeding everything up. Its differential effect on pushing some things more than others isn’t obvious.

  3. Let’s look at one aspect. Maybe it pushes some people more than others. Maybe do-gooders can become more productive thanks to IA and thus be able to compete better with more self-interested people.

    If self-interested people are usually those who have a high hedonic set-point – naturally high dopamine levels, and altruistic people at least to some extent are caused to become more altruistic because they are depressed, they know what it’s like to feel blue and therefore empathize more deeply and more often… then perhaps altruists can use IA/nootropics to switch into higher gear (e.g. a Ritalin surge) to channel their empathy into productive work.

    • I agree it’s possible IA could have differential impact to boost altruism, but I’m not aware of people who have argued this point. (Luke’s post is the most I’ve seen, and it’s rather ambivalent.)

      The example in Fredrik’s second paragraph seems like quite a stretch (no offense!), and it could easily be the opposite of that. Maybe attention drugs boost productivity at the expense of empathy (as I imagine stimulants might), which could be bad.

  4. I’m curious, how was the interview conducted?

  5. Pingback: When should an effective altruist be vegetarian? | Meteuphoric


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