All of Sam Harsimony's Comments + Replies

AMA: Allison Duettmann, Foresight Institute

What are some new projects you are working on but haven't published yet?


What are some projects you want to see but wish someone else or another org was working on?

4AllisonDuettmann1yHi Sam, here are two previews of projects we're working on but which aren't published yet. 1. AI-assisted tech trees enabled by Discourse graphs Throughout 2022, we have been building technology trees to map our five interest areas; molecular nanotechnology, longevity biotechnology, neurotechnology, secure human AI interaction, and space. The goal is to help onboard new talent and funders into the fields by sketching out which required capabilities are required for the long-term goals of the field, who is working on them, and which open challenges are left to be tackled. The trees contain 50k+ nodes but the current interfaces are still pretty clunky and hard to navigate for outsiders: What’s new is that we’ll likely be launching a Discourse graph-enabled tech tree edition, which allows natural language question-based navigation of the trees, making the main info much easier to digest for users. In addition, a gpt integration in the tool itself can automate parts of the research process by populating entire paths of the tree automatically. For instance, when prompting the gpt integration questions such as “what are the ten main labs working on autophagy” or “what are the main technical challenges we need to solve to make progress on privacy-preserving ML?” replies relatively well matched human-generated replies, even though there is still fact-checking and completion to do. This means our tech tree architects can function as reviewers and editors, rather than research assistants combing the web from scratch, making the roadmaps more long-term sustainable. The discourse graph editions of the trees scheduled to go live by July would allow individuals to contribute to the main trees and fork their own AI-assisted tech trees. They would also enable users to advance progress on highlighted challenges via an integrated bounty tool. Thanks to the amazing Discourse graph team for building the tool and allowing us to use it. More about how
AMA: Allison Duettmann, Foresight Institute

How does Foresight Institute allocate its time/effort across projects? Do you have a way of thinking about how much attention to spend on different speculative areas?

4AllisonDuettmann1yForesight Institute was established in 1986 on the ideas discussed in Engines of Creation, Drexler, published by Eric Drexler, co-founder of Foresight. The book lays out a network of technologies that have the potential to significantly enhance the human condition, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science, which are interconnected with other important technologies like robotics and space exploration in complex ways. Given the broad technology stack Engines considered, the book, and Foresight, became an early Schelling point for scientists and technologists who wanted great futures across the board of technologies. So within this broad technology stack, we decide on our focus by weighing how much attention an issue we think of as important is already receiving with how much our community is in a position to contribute. For instance, since our inception until today, the general field of molecular nanotechnology remains undervalued, and our community has a unique potential to contribute to it, so generally advancing the field in a beneficial direction is still where the bulk of our fellowship, prizes, workshops, and seminar strength lies. Then, within our other technology focus areas (bio, neuro, space, secure human AI cooperation), there are often specific subdomains that are still too niche, exotic, ambitious or interdisciplinary for the mainstream of that field to address. For instance, when potential AI race dynamics first became an issue, we used to hold annual workshops after the Bay Area EAGs, focused on AGI coordination across great powers and corporations: * 2019 / AGI: Toward Cooperation: [] * 2018 / AGI: Coordination & Great Powers:
AMA: Ben Reinhardt, Speculative Technologies

What are some research areas you think are important but wish someone else would work on?


Besides institutions for science, what other types of organizations do you think the world needs?

Eli Dourado AMA

What are some projects you have plan to work on in the near-term? In the long term?

What are some projects you wish someone else would work on?

4elidourado1yIn the short term, I am doing some geothermal projects, and then possibly writing a book. Longer term, I have a lot I'd like to do. If I ever found myself in a position where I could seize real power, I would take it and use it to promote progressy things. I really enjoy the part of my job where I talk to people working on promising hard tech startups; often they need a bit of advice or some introductions to people in my network. I'd like to do more to help them, as they are often brought into contact with the barriers and obstacles I spend so much time thinking about. I do wish someone else besides me would start a cargo airship company and do it right, with iterative design and a focus on getting to 500+ tons of cargo as quickly as possible.