- Aeon: Why has human progress slowed?
- Gary Marcus on the future of AI (EconTalk). Kind of weird that Russ & Gary wonder why there’d be a risk from general AI, but then don’t mention the standard “risk via convergent instrumental goals” argument.
- NYT reports on a Horvitz-funded 100-year Stanford program studying social impacts of AI. The white paper makes clear that the superintelligence control problem is among the intended focus areas!
- Gwern reviews the only significant biography of Hugh Everett, inventor of the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
- Nick Bostrom discusses Superintelligence on EconTalk.
- GiveWell’s top charity updates for December 2014.
- Armstrong, “Why aim for the stars when galaxies are just as easy?” (TEDx talk)
Decent books finished in November:
- Strogatz, Sync
- Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee
- Dormehl, The Formula
- Hazen, The Story of Earth
- Schneier, Schneier on Security
- Diamond, Collapse
- de Queiroz, The Monkey’s Journey
- Zetter, Countdown to Zero Day
- Isaacson, Einstein
- Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (re-read)
In case you hadn’t noticed, my choice of books is dominated by whether a book is available in audiobook, since the only time I have available to consume books these days is when my chronic insomnia is blocking me from sleeping anyway, so I put on my eye mask and open the Audible app on my phone. If I had more hours each month during which my eyeballs were still working, I’d be consuming a pretty different set of books, and I’d be reading them more carefully and critically rather than zooming through lots of easy material quickly.
Stuff I wrote elsewhere in November:
- Stuart Russell’s reply to “The Myth of AI” is very good, except that I don’t like the “provably aligned” phrase.
- Scale model of the solar system, on a web page that is (necessarily) half a mile long.
- Graham, “Mean People Fail.” More fodder for that article I swear I’m going to write one day about kindness as an epistemic virtue.
- Just FYI, I continue to update The Best Textbooks on Every Subject in response to new submissions.
- Kuperberg’s parable on motivated skepticism.
- Tenenbaum & Marcus debate the merits of the Bayesian cognition approach. (I come down much closer to Marcus, and I suspect the Tenenbaum tradition will end up being more productive for AI than for psychology.)