AI Research Program Prediction Markets

post by tailcalled · 2022-10-20T13:42:55.113Z · LW · GW · 10 comments

John Wentworth requested that someone would create prediction markets for various AI research programs [LW(p) · GW(p)]. I've now done so, for four programs:

Remember, though - Measure Lots Of Stuff [LW · GW]: It would probably be good if other people made prediction markets that measured things from other angles. Make sure that you read John Wentworth's original post [LW · GW] to know what is needed by alignment researchers.


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comment by Thomas Kwa (thomas-kwa) · 2022-10-20T19:56:36.153Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

How many "important" things do you expect the entire field of alignment to achieve in the next 4 years? All of the questions above are highly sensitive to this number.

Replies from: tailcalled
comment by tailcalled · 2022-10-20T20:26:32.428Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's really hard to say because the alignment field might grow exponentially. I have the impression that this is already happening, with e.g. SERI MATS recently having started a whole bunch of new alignment researchers? So we should probably expect a lot of growth.

One thing I'm unsure about is the extent to which this growth all funnels into the existing research programs vs creates new research programs. Insofar as everyone creates new research programs, it seems like the answer should still be predictable when averaging over researchers.

So, likely do I expect a skilled researcher on a promising-ish research program to be to come up with a big finding in four years? Probably the smartest place would be to go with base rates; what have we seen so far in alignment research. But I don't feel strong enough in history to list the major programs and achievements.

I tried thinking about each of the sub-directions I could think of in the above 4 research programs, and considered my gut feeling for the probability of whether the researchers would find something in those sub-directions, and added them up. I got the result of 2.2 expected findings. Obviously this should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

To help clarify, if anyone wants to present a historical research result that they would like to know whether I would consider an achievement, then I would be open to rating it.

You might also be interested in this comment, which lists some things I consider to be achievement and non-achievements:

comment by Jacob Pfau (jacob-pfau) · 2022-10-20T18:30:08.894Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can you please make one for whether you think ELK will have been solved (/substantial progress has been made) by 2026? I could do it, but would be nice to have as many as possible centrally visible when browsing your profile.

EDIT: I have created a question here

Replies from: tailcalled, sharmake-farah
comment by tailcalled · 2022-10-20T18:42:41.311Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


My suspicion is that if ELK gets solved in practice, it will be by restricting the class of neural networks under consideration. Yet the ELK challenge adds a requirement that it has to work on just about any neural network.

Replies from: jacob-pfau
comment by Jacob Pfau (jacob-pfau) · 2022-10-20T19:16:09.370Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ok seems like our understandings of ELK are quite different. I have in mind transformers, but not sure that it much matters. I'm making a question.

comment by Noosphere89 (sharmake-farah) · 2022-10-20T18:54:47.433Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I might create an account on Manifold Markets to make this question.

Replies from: jacob-pfau
comment by Jacob Pfau (jacob-pfau) · 2022-10-20T19:15:27.457Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Since tailcalled seems reluctant, I'll make one. More can't hurt though.

comment by Martin Randall (martin-randall) · 2022-10-20T16:05:53.444Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Maybe specify that they resolve yes if they achieve something important for alignment, as opposed to general importance in the field of science?

Replies from: tailcalled
comment by tailcalled · 2022-10-20T16:36:31.712Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hm, do we even want that condition? It seems to me that the goal for the prediction markets is to indicate what research directions are worthwhile, and a research direction that can do something of general importance to science seems more likely to be able to do something important for alignment.

Presumably the alignment problem isn't going to be solved in 4 years, so we're going to have to go with imperfect indicators anyway, and have to accept whichever indicators we get.