Comment by gwern on Against NHST · 2019-07-16T17:15:46.008Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"From Statistical Significance To Effect Estimation: Statistical Reform In Psychology, Medicine And Ecology", Fidler 2005; a broad but still in depth thesis on the history of NHST and attempts to reform it.

Comment by gwern on How Should We Critique Research? A Decision Perspective · 2019-07-15T22:12:19.701Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Does the abstract not work for you?

How Should We Critique Research? A Decision Perspective

2019-07-14T22:51:59.285Z · score: 48 (11 votes)
Comment by gwern on Strategic implications of AIs' ability to coordinate at low cost, for example by merging · 2019-07-08T17:06:16.576Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Avalon is another example, with better current performance.

Comment by gwern on Musings on Cumulative Cultural Evolution and AI · 2019-07-07T20:50:17.486Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Tomasello’s work stresses mindreading, in particular the ability for humans to carry joint attention [link].

Link seems to be missing.

Comment by gwern on Is AlphaZero any good without the tree search? · 2019-07-02T15:12:45.691Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't say anything about chess or shogi because I don't recall any ablation for A0, I just remember the one in the AG0 paper for Go. The AG0 is definitely at or close to professional level and better than 'good amateur'. And I would consider a non-distributed PUCT with no rollouts or other refinements to be a 'simple tree search': it doesn't do any rollouts, and the depth is seriously limited by running on only a single machine w/4 TPUs with a few seconds for search: as the AG0 paper puts it, "Finally, it uses a simpler tree search that relies upon this single neural network to evaluate positions and sample moves, without performing any Monte-Carlo rollouts...we chose to use the simplest possible search algorithm".

June 2019 newsletter

2019-07-01T14:35:49.507Z · score: 30 (5 votes)
Comment by gwern on Is AlphaZero any good without the tree search? · 2019-07-01T13:25:35.192Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Sure. But the final player does not use MCTS, and it's interesting that it's not necessary then. (It's even more interesting that the way they discovered they didn't need MCTS is by hyperparameter optimization, but that's a different discussion.)

Comment by gwern on Is AlphaZero any good without the tree search? · 2019-07-01T03:17:02.315Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You want the 'AlphaGo Zero' paper, not the 'AlphaZero' papers, which merely simplify it and reuse it in other domains; the AGZ paper is more informative than the AZ papers. See Figure 6b, and pg25 for the tree search

Figure 6b shows the performance of each program on an Elo scale. The raw neural network, without using any lookahead, achieved an Elo rating of 3,055. AlphaGo Zero achieved a rating of 5,185, compared to 4,858 for AlphaGo Master, 3,739 for AlphaGo Lee and 3,144 for AlphaGo Fan.

So the raw NN, a single pass and selecting the max, is 3k ELO, about 100 ELO under AlphaGo Fan, which soundly defeated a human professional (Fan Hui). I'm not sure whether -100 ELO is enough to demote it to amateur status, but it's at least clearly not that far from professional in the worst case.

Comment by gwern on Is AlphaZero any good without the tree search? · 2019-06-30T20:07:31.342Z · score: 14 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The paper includes the ELO for just the NN. I believe it's professional level but not superhuman, but you should check if you really need to know. However, note that Alphazero's actual play doesn't use MCTS at all, it uses a simple tree search which only descends a few ply.

Comment by gwern on How can we measure creativity? · 2019-06-29T22:46:41.800Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

A good anthology to read is Creativity, ed Vernon 1970 - it's old but it shows you what people were thinking back when Torrance was trying to come up with creativity tests, and the many psychometric criticisms back then which I'm not sure have been convincingly resolved.

Comment by gwern on Only optimize to 95 % · 2019-06-26T02:43:22.044Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

For EU quantilization. But you could apply quantilization to beliefs rather than the utilities. (I don't think it would work as well because I immediately wonder how many different ways belief quantilization breaks the probability axioms and renders any such agent inconsistent & Dutch-bookable, and this illustrates why people generally discuss EU quantilization instead.)

Comment by gwern on Only optimize to 95 % · 2019-06-25T23:21:29.082Z · score: 18 (8 votes) · LW · GW

The proposal is known as 'quantilization' eg

Comment by gwern on Discussion Thread: The AI Does Not Hate You by Tom Chivers · 2019-06-25T14:46:57.089Z · score: 15 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Ghenlezo review:

Comment by gwern on ISO: Automated P-Hacking Detection · 2019-06-16T23:11:37.806Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

On Seeing Through 'On Seeing Through: A Unified Theory': A Unified Theory

2019-06-15T18:57:25.436Z · score: 27 (7 votes)
Comment by gwern on On Having Enough Socks · 2019-06-14T16:43:15.124Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Also, 1 sock lost is automatically 1 pair of socks lost since they can only function in pairs.

Only in the worst cast of all-unique pairs. If you buy in batches (as I and a lot of people seem to do), then 1 lost sock is just 1 lost sock until you reach as low as n=2.

Comment by gwern on On Having Enough Socks · 2019-06-13T21:19:35.361Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In terms of sibling effects, they could be large drains. Imagine a sibling who never bothers to buy their own socks but just unconsciously takes one sock too many once in a while. If there's 2 siblings, now the responsible one must buy twice as much socks as they should (because of the hidden drain). Such people would simply show up as rare-purchasers in my survey, and there are quite a few such people. Ones lost in a dryer may be de facto permanently gone: even if you pull the units out a decade later and find them, do you even want to wear them anymore? And what does one do with a mismatched sock? If its mate doesn't show up in a few months, you might toss it or use it for something else entirely, and then should the mate reappear later, now it's a mismatch as well...

I certainly don't lose 8 pairs of socks a year, but then, I don't spend $200+ a month on groceries either.

Comment by gwern on On Having Enough Socks · 2019-06-13T19:22:11.241Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Samsung says

There are many practical reasons for sock loss rather than supernatural disappearances. Research interviews found the common causes included items falling behind radiators or under furniture without anyone realising, stray items being added to the wrong coloured wash and becoming separated from its matching sock, not being secured to a washing line securely so they fall off and blow away – or they are simply carelessly paired up

And I think they do get lost. In multi-person households, socks have a tendency to migrate to other people's rooms, flowing along a sock gradient. (I lost a lot of socks to my brother. I know because we labeled them with markers and I'd regularly find them in his drawer.) Sometimes they get physically lost in the dryer. In cluttered households, it's easy for a sock to fall out of the dryer or the basket when you're moving a big load, or fall behind drawers/beds and get lost there. Pet animals can steal them: I've seen ferrets making off with socks to hide in corners (or behind the dryer), and supposedly Siamese cats often have a pica just for socks & woolens. And in some cases, there may be things man was not meant to know.

Personally, I think my sock shortage was due more to them wearing out than actually going missing. I'd get rid of them as necessary, but I then didn't buy any replacements.

On Having Enough Socks

2019-06-13T15:15:21.946Z · score: 21 (6 votes)
Comment by gwern on A Plausible Entropic Decision Procedure for Many Worlds Living, Round 2 · 2019-06-09T23:53:12.327Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This still doesn't seem to address why one should be risk-averse and prioritize an impoverished survival in as many branches as possible. (Not that I think it does even that, given your examples; by always taking the risky opportunities with a certain probability, wouldn't this drive your total quantum measure down rapidly? You seem to have some sort of min-max principle in mind.)

Nor does it deal with the response to the standard ensemble criticism of expected utility: EU-maximization is entirely consistent with non-greedy-EU-maximization strategies (eg the Kelly criterion) as the total-EU-maximizing strategy if the problem, fully modeled, includes considerations like survival or gambler's ruin (eg in the Kelly coinflip game, the greedy strategy of betting everything each round is one of the worst possible things to do, but EU-maximizing over the entire game does in fact deliver optimal results); however, these do not apply at the quantum level, they only exist at the macro level, and it's unclear why MWI should make any difference.

Comment by gwern on My Childhood Role Model · 2019-06-09T16:56:19.028Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

They are characters in the well-known Vinge SF novel A Fire Upon the Deep.

Comment by gwern on Paternal Formats · 2019-06-09T02:40:39.312Z · score: 28 (14 votes) · LW · GW

This name seems unnecessarily intrinsically prejudicial. Perhaps 'legible' vs 'illegible' would be better, or use McLuhan's 'hot' vs 'cool' mediums.

Comment by gwern on Two labyrinths - where would you rather be? · 2019-06-08T23:53:12.641Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've always felt that life is more like "A Solar Labyrinth".

May newsletter

2019-06-01T17:25:11.740Z · score: 17 (5 votes)
Comment by gwern on Disincentives for participating on LW/AF · 2019-05-18T23:07:57.931Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A rapporteur?

Comment by gwern on What are good practices for using Google Scholar to research answers to LessWrong Questions? · 2019-05-18T22:26:22.442Z · score: 33 (8 votes) · LW · GW

My search guide might be helpful.

Comment by gwern on "One Man's Modus Ponens Is Another Man's Modus Tollens" · 2019-05-18T19:30:44.180Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you think any of the examples are better termed 'modus delens'?

Comment by gwern on Which scientific discovery was most ahead of its time? · 2019-05-17T22:05:36.555Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Related: "sleeping beauty" papers.

"One Man's Modus Ponens Is Another Man's Modus Tollens"

2019-05-17T22:03:59.458Z · score: 34 (5 votes)
Comment by gwern on Implications of GPT-2 · 2019-05-10T19:38:01.854Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In what sense is being able to do addition or subtraction with different numbers, for example, which is what it means to learn addition or subtraction, not 'the exact same problem but with different labels'?

Comment by gwern on Implications of GPT-2 · 2019-05-08T20:45:03.753Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

DeepMind has shown that Transformers trained on natural text descriptions of math problems can solve them at well above random: "Analysing Mathematical Reasoning Abilities of Neural Models", Saxton et al 2019:

Mathematical reasoning---a core ability within human intelligence---presents some unique challenges as a domain: we do not come to understand and solve mathematical problems primarily on the back of experience and evidence, but on the basis of inferring, learning, and exploiting laws, axioms, and symbol manipulation rules. In this paper, we present a new challenge for the evaluation (and eventually the design) of neural architectures and similar system, developing a task suite of mathematics problems involving sequential questions and answers in a free-form textual input/output format. The structured nature of the mathematics domain, covering arithmetic, algebra, probability and calculus, enables the construction of training and test splits designed to clearly illuminate the capabilities and failure-modes of different architectures, as well as evaluate their ability to compose and relate knowledge and learned processes. Having described the data generation process and its potential future expansions, we conduct a comprehensive analysis of models from two broad classes of the most powerful sequence-to-sequence architectures and find notable differences in their ability to resolve mathematical problems and generalize their knowledge.

And this sounds like goal post moving:

unless a very similar problem appears in the training data—e.g. the exact same problem but with different labels

Comment by gwern on Recent updates to (2017–2019) · 2019-05-02T00:26:36.221Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

TWDNE has now been upgraded with samples from an additional 2 months of training on bigger faces, which should make them considerably better:

Comment by gwern on An Apology is a Surrender · 2019-05-01T22:08:41.837Z · score: 20 (6 votes) · LW · GW

An apology experiment: "Does Apologizing Work? An Empirical Test of the Conventional Wisdom", Hanania 2015:

This paper presents the results of an experiment where respondents were given two versions of two real-life controversies involving comments made by public figures. Approximately half of the participants read a story that made it appear as if the person had apologized, while the rest were led to believe that the individual stood firm. In the first experiment, involving Rand Paul and his comments on the Civil Rights Act, hearing that he was apologetic did not change whether respondents were less likely to vote for him. When presented with two versions of the controversy surrounding Larry Summers and his comments about women scientists and engineers, however, liberals and females were much more likely to say that he definitely or probably should have faced negative consequences for his statement when presented with his apology.

April 2019 newsletter

2019-05-01T14:43:18.952Z · score: 11 (2 votes)
Comment by gwern on Recent updates to (2017–2019) · 2019-04-29T15:00:22.621Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't but I should.

Comment by gwern on Recent updates to (2017–2019) · 2019-04-28T23:44:17.896Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe. I think you would have to check the metadata field for 'finished', because otherwise there's no definitive criteria: I put up the notes weeks in advance, and they usually aren't finished on the 1st of the month. I don't especially mind manual submission since I have to crosspost to Twitter/Reddit/#lesswrong/TinyLetter anyway.

Recent updates to (2017–2019)

2019-04-28T20:18:27.083Z · score: 36 (8 votes)
Comment by gwern on Hull: An alternative to shell that I'll never have time to implement · 2019-04-28T18:30:37.044Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Oleg's zipper-based 'shell' and 'filesystem' has some similar properties:

Comment by gwern on "Everything is Correlated": An Anthology of the Psychology Debate · 2019-04-27T13:48:58.167Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

(Sort of a very long delayed followup to , tracking down one specific strand of the debate.)

"Everything is Correlated": An Anthology of the Psychology Debate

2019-04-27T13:48:05.240Z · score: 49 (7 votes)
Comment by gwern on Open Thread April 2019 · 2019-04-09T03:05:41.858Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Those pictures are eight years old, and those particular masks aren’t listed on the store’s website ( )

Is there a reason to not just email & ask (other than depression)?

Comment by gwern on Alignment Newsletter #52 · 2019-04-06T01:54:29.719Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Looking at the description of that Pavlov algorithm, it bears more than a passing resemblance to REINFORCE or evolutionary methods of training NNs, except with the neurons relabeled 'agents'.

Comment by gwern on Aumann Agreement by Combat · 2019-04-05T15:53:37.023Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

One can’t link to sections within a PDF,

Yes you can. #page=N. That's how I linked to the papers I liked.

Comment by gwern on March 2019 newsletter · 2019-04-04T01:05:05.619Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Which part? There have cumulatively been a lot of changes.

Comment by gwern on March 2019 newsletter · 2019-04-02T20:25:15.422Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am excited and terrified of eyetracking for foveated rendering in VR for precisely those reasons: it will be both awesome & awful and I don't know how it'll net out. (All the more reason to keep paying for VR games, I guess, to help ensure that the user is the customer rather than the product...)

March 2019 newsletter

2019-04-02T14:17:38.032Z · score: 19 (3 votes)
Comment by gwern on User GPT2 Has a Warning for Violating Frontpage Commenting Guidelines · 2019-04-01T20:33:21.500Z · score: 28 (12 votes) · LW · GW

At first from the title I thought this was hilariously funny, but after looking at user GPT2's comments, it appears the username is a doggone dirty lie and these are not in fact GPT-2-small samples but merely human-written, which comes as a great disappointment to me.

Since user GPT2 seems to be quite prolific, we have implemented a setting to hide comments by GPT2, which can be accessed from the settings page when you are logged in.

Wouldn't it make more sense to implement a generic blacklist for which GPT2 could be a special case?

Comment by gwern on What is up with carbon dioxide and cognition? An offer · 2019-03-26T00:48:19.696Z · score: 11 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Some recent kerfluffles over CO2 (prompted by people rediscovering Allen et al 2016 on Twitter etc) lead me to one I missed: "Breathing Carbon Dioxide (4% for 1-Hour) Slows Response Selection, Not Stimulus Encoding", Vercruyssen 2014. 4% is a ton but the results remain subtle, at best.

Comment by gwern on 'This Waifu Does Not Exist': 100,000 StyleGAN & GPT-2 samples · 2019-03-25T03:14:58.998Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And now a full guide to using StyleGAN:

Comment by gwern on Inverse p-zombies: the other direction in the Hard Problem of Consciousness · 2019-03-13T01:55:26.805Z · score: 11 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"This is what it’s like waking up during surgery: General anaesthetic is supposed to make surgery painless. But now there’s evidence that one person in 20 may be awake when doctors think they’re under", Robson:

One day, for instance, she was waiting in the car as her daughter ran an errand, and realised that she was trapped inside. What might once have been a frustrating inconvenience sent her into a panic attack. “I started screaming. I was flailing my arms, I was crying,” she says. “It just left me so shaken.” Even the wrong clothing can make her anxiety worse. “Anything that’s tight around my neck is out of the question because it makes me feel like I’m suffocating,” says Donna, a 55-year-old from Altona in Manitoba, Canada.

...The lingering trauma can resurface with the slightest trigger, and still causes her to have “two or three nightmares each night”. Having been put on medical leave from her job, she has lost her independence. She suspects that she will never fully escape the effects of that day more than a decade ago. “It’s a life sentence.”

...When she woke up, she could hear the nurses buzzing around the table, and she felt someone scrubbing at her abdomen – but she assumed that the operation was over and they were just clearing up. “I was thinking, ‘Oh boy, you were anxious for no reason.’” It was only once she heard the surgeon asking the nurse for a scalpel that the truth suddenly dawned on her: the operation wasn’t over. It hadn’t even begun. The next thing she knew, she felt the blade of his knife against her belly as he made his first incision, leading to excruciating pain. She tried to sit up and to speak – but thanks to a neuromuscular blocker, her body was paralysed. “I felt so… so powerless. There was just nothing I could do. I couldn’t move, couldn’t scream, couldn’t open my eyes,” she says. “I tried to cry just to get tears rolling down my cheeks, thinking that they would notice that and notice that something was going on. But I couldn’t make tears.”

...Various projects around the world have attempted to document experiences like Donna’s, but the Anesthesia Awareness Registry at the University of Washington, Seattle, offers some of the most detailed analyses. Founded in 2007, it has now collected more than 340 reports – most from North America – and although these reports are confidential, some details have been published, and they make illuminating reading.

As you might expect, a large majority of the accounts – more than 70 per cent – also contain reports of pain. “I felt the sting and burning sensation of four incisions being made, like a sharp knife cutting a finger,” wrote one. “Then searing, unbearable pain.” “There were two parts I remember quite clearly,” wrote a patient who had had a wide hole made in his femur. “I heard the drill, felt the pain, and felt the vibration all the way up to my hip. The next part was the movement of my leg and the pounding of the ‘nail’.” The pain, he said, was “unlike anything I thought possible”. It is the paralysing effects of the muscle blockers that many find most distressing, however. For one thing, it produces the sensations that you are not breathing – which one patient described as “too horrible to endure”. Then there’s the helplessness. Another patient noted: “I was screaming in my head things like ‘don’t they know I’m awake, open your eyes to signal them’.” To make matters worse, all of this panic can be compounded by a lack of understanding of why they are awake but unable to move. “They have no reference point to say why is this happening,” says Christopher Kent at the University of Washington, who co-authored the paper about these accounts. The result, he says, is that many patients come to fear that they are dying. “Those are the worst of the anaesthesia experiences.”


The result is that many more people might be conscious during surgery, but they simply can’t remember it afterwards.

To investigate this phenomenon, researchers are using what they call the isolated forearm technique. During the induction of the anaesthesia, the staff place a cuff around the patient’s upper arm that delays the passage of the neuromuscular agent through the arm. This means that, for a brief period, the patient is still able to move their hand. So a member of staff could ask them to squeeze their hand in response to two questions: whether they were still aware, and, if so, whether they felt any pain. (Read more in this short on how doctors are trying to detect anaesthesia awareness.) In the largest study of this kind to date, Robert Sanders at the University of Wisconsin–Madison recently collaborated with colleagues at six hospitals in the US, Europe and New Zealand. Of the 260 patients studied, 4.6 per cent responded to the experimenters’ first question, about awareness. That is hundreds of times greater than the rate of remembered awareness events that had been noted in the National Audit Project. And around four in ten of those patients who did respond with the hand squeeze – 1.9 per cent across the whole group – also reported feeling pain in the experimenters’ second question.

These results raise some ethical quandaries. “Whenever I talk to the trainees I talk about the philosophical element to this,” says Sanders. “If the patient doesn’t remember, is it concerning?” Sanders says that there’s no evidence that the patients who respond during the isolated forearm experiments, but fail to remember the experience later, do go on to develop PTSD or other psychological issues like Donna. And without those long-term consequences, you might conclude that the momentary awareness is unfortunate, but unalarming. Yet the study does make him uneasy, and so he conducted a survey to gather the public’s views on the matter. Opinions were mixed. “Most people didn’t think that amnesia alone is sufficient – but a surprisingly large minority thought that as long as you didn’t remember the event, it’s OK,” Sanders says.


The survey is (Given the described wording and the remarkably blase acceptance claimed, I'm left wondering a little if the respondents really appreciated the scenario being described - being gutted like a fish and feeling every last bit of it, so to speak.)

"Patient perspectives on intraoperative awareness with explicit recall: report from a North American anaesthesia awareness registry", Kent et al 2015:

Background: Awareness during general anaesthesia is a source of concern for patients and anaesthetists, with potential for psychological and medicolegal sequelae. We used a registry to evaluate unintended awareness from the patient’s perspective with an emphasis on their experiences and healthcare provider responses.

Methods: English-speaking subjects self-reported explicit recall of events during anaesthesia to the Anesthesia Awareness Registry of the ASA, completed a survey, and submitted copies of medical records. Anaesthesia awareness was defined as explicit recall of events during induction or maintenance of general anaesthesia. Patient experiences, satisfaction, and desired practitioner responses to explicit recall were based on survey responses.

Results: Most of the 68 respondents meeting inclusion criteria (75%) were dissatisfied with the manner in which their concerns were addressed by their healthcare providers, and many reported long-term harm. Half (51%) of respondents reported that neither the anaesthesia provider nor surgeon expressed concern about their experience. Few were offered an apology (10%) or referral for counseling (15%). Patient preferences for responses after an awareness episode included validation of their experience (37%), an explanation (28%), and discussion or follow-up to the episode (26%).

Conclusions: Data from this registry confirm the serious impact of anaesthesia awareness for some patients, and suggest that patients need more systematic responses and follow-up by healthcare providers.

"Incidence of Connected Consciousness after Tracheal Intubation: A Prospective, International, Multicenter Cohort Study of the Isolated Forearm Technique", Sanders et al 2017:

Background: The isolated forearm technique allows assessment of consciousness of the external world (connected consciousness) through a verbal command to move the hand (of a tourniquet-isolated arm) during intended general anesthesia. Previous isolated forearm technique data suggest that the incidence of connected consciousness may approach 37% after a noxious stimulus. The authors conducted an international, multicenter, pragmatic study to establish the incidence of isolated forearm technique responsiveness after intubation in routine practice.

Methods: Two hundred sixty adult patients were recruited at six sites into a prospective cohort study of the isolated forearm technique after intubation. Demographic, anesthetic, and intubation data, plus postoperative questionnaires, were collected. Univariate statistics, followed by bivariate logistic regression models for age plus variable, were conducted.

Results: The incidence of isolated forearm technique responsiveness after intubation was 4.6% (12/260); 5 of 12 responders reported pain through a second hand squeeze. Responders were younger than nonresponders (39 ± 17 vs. 51 ± 16 yr old; P = 0.01) with more frequent signs of sympathetic activation (50% vs. 2.4%; P = 0.03). No participant had explicit recall of intraoperative events when questioned after surgery (n = 253). Across groups, depth of anesthesia monitoring values showed a wide range; however, values were higher for responders before (54 ± 20 vs. 42 ± 14; P = 0.02) and after (52 ± 16 vs. 43 ± 16; P = 0.02) intubation. In patients not receiving total intravenous anesthesia, exposure to volatile anesthetics before intubation reduced the odds of responding (odds ratio, 0.2 [0.1 to 0.8]; P = 0.02) after adjustment for age.

Conclusions: Intraoperative connected consciousness occurred frequently, although the rate is up to 10-times lower than anticipated. This should be considered a conservative estimate of intraoperative connected consciousness.

Comment by gwern on Inverse p-zombies: the other direction in the Hard Problem of Consciousness · 2019-03-12T01:13:36.572Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Daniel Dennett turns out to discuss precisely this problem in the context of curare/analgesics/anesthetics/amnestics in Dennett 1978, "Why You Can't Make A Computer That Feels Pain".

He also discusses an interesting detail of pain, "reactive dissociation". In my pain taxonomy, I split the various kinds of pain disorders into useful/motivating/qualia; the only combination I was missing was a kind of pain which is experienced as painful and yet was not motivating/aversive/unpleasant. "reactive dissociation" turns out to be just that - if morphine is administered after pain starts happening, people apparently frequently will report that the pain is excruciatingly painful, and yet they don't mind it.

Aspirin by antagonizing bradykinin thus prevents pain at the earliest opportunity. This is interesting because aspirin is also unique among analgesics in lacking the 'reactive disassociation' effect. All other analgesics (e.g., the morphine group and nitrous oxide in sub-anesthetic doses) have a common 'phenomenology.' After receiving the analgesic subjects commonly report not that the pain has disappeared or diminished (as with aspirin) but that the pain is as intense as ever though they no longer mind it. To many philosophers this may sound like some sort of conceptual incoherency or contradiction, or at least indicate a failure on the part of the subjects to draw enough distinctions, but such philosophical suspicions, which we will examine more closely later, must be voiced in the face of the normality of such first-person reports and the fact that they are expressed in the widest variety of language by subjects of every degree of sophistication. A further curiosity about morphine is that if it is administered before the onset of pain (for instance, as a pre-surgical medication) the subjects claim not to feel any pain subsequently (though they are not numb or anesthetized - they have sensation in the relevant parts of their bodies); while if the morphine is administered after the pain has commenced, the subjects report that the pain continues (and continues to be pain), though they no longer mind it.

...Lobotomized subjects similarly report feeling intense pain but not minding it, and in other ways the manifestations of lobotomy and morphine are similar enough to lead some researchers to describe the action of morphine (and some barbiturates) as "reversible pharmacological leucotomy [lobotomy]".^23^

23: A. S. Keats and H. K. Beecher, "Pain Relief with Hypnotic Doses of Barbiturates, and a Hypothesis", J. Pharmacol, 1950. Lobotomy, though discredited as a behavior-improving psychosurgical procedure, is still a last resort tactic in cases of utterly intractable central pain, where the only other alternative to unrelenting agony is escalating morphine dosages, with inevitable addiction, habituation and early death. Lobotomy does not excise any of the old low path (as one might expect from its effect on pain perception), but it does cut off the old low path from a rich input source in the frontal lobes of the cortex.

Dennett throws in this disturbing anecdote in footnote 27:

Scopolamine and other amnestics are often prescribed by anesthesiologists for the purpose of creating amnesia. "Sometimes", I was told by a prominent anesthesiologist, "when we think a patient may have been awake during surgery, we give scopolamine to get us off the hook. Sometimes it works and sometimes not."

Comment by gwern on 'This Waifu Does Not Exist': 100,000 StyleGAN & GPT-2 samples · 2019-03-07T17:05:33.429Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I now have poetry samples up using a retrained/finetuned version of GPT-2-small:

February newsletter

2019-03-02T22:42:09.490Z · score: 13 (3 votes)
Comment by gwern on 'This Waifu Does Not Exist': 100,000 StyleGAN & GPT-2 samples · 2019-03-02T00:14:06.141Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nothing makes sense when Google Translates tries Japanese. Although the fact that that is still better than pre-RNN shows you how much of an upgrade that was.

Comment by gwern on 'This Waifu Does Not Exist': 100,000 StyleGAN & GPT-2 samples · 2019-03-01T04:29:37.262Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Implementation details:

'This Waifu Does Not Exist': 100,000 StyleGAN & GPT-2 samples

2019-03-01T04:29:16.529Z · score: 39 (12 votes)
Comment by gwern on Life, not a game · 2019-02-23T21:35:27.404Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

OP's rebuttal the first time I asked him to enlarge on his first paragraph:

[...They all 3 killed themselves like a chain reaction.] It seems like the only time that is possible by which a person is able to choose to live without anyone getting involved in this and the only possible way to keep his name from being forgotten. What if in a sense, for it is in the best interest of humanity for everyone else to live without anyone knowing about the other, it comes to people in need of life? Who would really argue that not everyone is the same? Who would argue that if a person can only choose the way, then not everyone may take some responsibility for their death? People who make the decisions should take responsibility for their own lives. In contrast, they should make a living only with the goal that they make a living for themselves, and not some other person. Are we being overly simplistic and the people who make them feel inadequate (i.e., just lazy) only make more like us even though they will be better than everyone else if they have a better life but are unable to earn income for it that would be of benefit, or would we be able to increase our income and get more as a team instead of just having two or a few more people around to take care of it? The answer is: No. I think the world needs not only the people with the power to make decisions but also the people to decide on, and that will be the greatest force for change in the whole of human experience. And we all need to join together in a great struggle in coming weeks and not one day go to war. The whole world needs this revolution.

Comment by gwern on Implications of GPT-2 · 2019-02-19T00:29:51.646Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know why you would think that would be such a barrier. You don't need Transformers at all to do analogical reasoning, and both the CoQA and SQUAD results suggests at least some 'modest logic-related stuff' is going on. If you put your exact sample into the public/small GPT-2 model, it'll even generate syntactically correct list completions and additional lists which are somewhat more sorted than not.

Comment by gwern on Implications of GPT-2 · 2019-02-18T16:28:23.227Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It’s a cool language model but can it do even modest logic-related stuff without similar examples in the training data?

Have you looked at the NLP tasks they evaluated it on?

January 2019 newsletter

2019-02-04T15:53:42.553Z · score: 15 (5 votes)
Comment by gwern on Which textbook would you recommend to learn decision theory? · 2019-01-29T23:45:17.169Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW is a starting point.

Comment by gwern on [Link] Did AlphaStar just click faster? · 2019-01-29T00:17:33.772Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Also discussed in

"Forecasting Transformative AI: An Expert Survey", Gruetzemacher et al 2019

2019-01-27T02:34:57.214Z · score: 17 (8 votes)

"AlphaStar: Mastering the Real-Time Strategy Game StarCraft II", DeepMind [won 10 of 11 games against human pros]

2019-01-24T20:49:01.350Z · score: 62 (23 votes)

Visualizing the power of multiple step selection processes in JS: Galton's bean machine

2019-01-12T17:58:34.584Z · score: 27 (8 votes)

Littlewood's Law and the Global Media

2019-01-12T17:46:09.753Z · score: 37 (8 votes)

Evolution as Backstop for Reinforcement Learning: multi-level paradigms

2019-01-12T17:45:35.485Z · score: 18 (4 votes)

December newsletter

2019-01-02T15:13:02.771Z · score: 20 (4 votes)

Internet Search Tips: how I use Google/Google Scholar/Libgen

2018-12-12T14:50:30.970Z · score: 54 (13 votes)

November 2018 newsletter

2018-12-01T13:57:00.661Z · score: 35 (8 votes)

October links

2018-11-01T01:11:28.763Z · score: 31 (8 votes)

Whole Brain Emulation & DL: imitation learning for faster AGI?

2018-10-22T15:07:54.585Z · score: 15 (5 votes)

New /r/gwern subreddit for link-sharing

2018-10-17T22:49:36.252Z · score: 45 (13 votes)

September links

2018-10-08T21:52:10.642Z · score: 18 (6 votes)

Genomic Prediction is now offering embryo selection

2018-10-07T21:27:54.071Z · score: 39 (14 votes)

August links

2018-09-25T15:57:20.808Z · score: 18 (5 votes)

July newsletter

2018-08-02T13:42:16.534Z · score: 24 (8 votes)

June newsletter

2018-07-04T22:59:00.205Z · score: 36 (8 votes)

May newsletter

2018-06-01T14:47:19.835Z · score: 73 (14 votes)

$5m cryptocurrency donation to Alcor by Brad Armstrong in memory of LWer Hal Finney

2018-05-17T20:31:07.942Z · score: 47 (11 votes)

Tech economics pattern: "Commoditize Your Complement"

2018-05-10T18:54:42.191Z · score: 97 (27 votes)

April links

2018-05-10T18:53:48.970Z · score: 20 (6 votes)

March link roundup

2018-04-20T19:09:29.785Z · score: 27 (6 votes)

Recent updates to (2016-2017)

2017-10-20T02:11:07.808Z · score: 7 (7 votes)

The NN/tank Story Probably Never Happened

2017-10-20T01:41:06.291Z · score: 2 (2 votes)

Regulatory lags for New Technology [2013 notes]

2017-05-31T01:27:52.046Z · score: 5 (5 votes)

"AIXIjs: A Software Demo for General Reinforcement Learning", Aslanides 2017

2017-05-29T21:09:53.566Z · score: 1 (3 votes)

Keeping up with deep reinforcement learning research: /r/reinforcementlearning

2017-05-16T19:12:04.201Z · score: 3 (4 votes)

"The unrecognised simplicities of effective action #2: 'Systems engineering’ and 'systems management' - ideas from the Apollo programme for a 'systems politics'", Cummings 2017

2017-02-17T00:59:04.256Z · score: 9 (8 votes)

Decision Theory subreddit

2017-02-07T18:42:55.277Z · score: 6 (7 votes)

Rationality Heuristic for Bias Detection: Updating Towards the Net Weight of Evidence

2016-11-17T02:51:19.316Z · score: 10 (11 votes)

Recent updates to (2015-2016)

2016-08-26T19:22:02.157Z · score: 27 (29 votes)

The Brain Preservation Foundation's Small Mammalian Brain Prize won

2016-02-09T21:02:02.585Z · score: 43 (45 votes)

Recent updates to (2014-2015)

2015-11-02T00:06:11.241Z · score: 21 (22 votes)

[Link] 2015 modafinil user survey

2015-09-26T17:28:17.324Z · score: 9 (10 votes)

LW survey: Effective Altruists and donations

2015-05-14T00:44:42.661Z · score: 18 (23 votes)

[POLL] LessWrong group on (2015)

2015-03-03T03:08:32.748Z · score: 12 (13 votes)

Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum

2014-12-12T20:34:45.244Z · score: 47 (46 votes)

Confound it! Correlation is (usually) not causation! But why not?

2014-07-09T03:04:26.084Z · score: 44 (44 votes)