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Having thought a bunch about acausal trade — and proven some theorems relevant to its feasibility — I believe there do not exist powerful information hazards about it that stand up to clear and circumspect reasoning about the topic.
Have you discussed this point with other relevant researchers before deciding to publish this post? Is there a wide agreement among relevant researchers that a public, unrestricted discussion about this topic is net-positive? Have you considered the unilateralist's curse and biases that you may have (in terms of you gaining status/prestige from publishing this)?
(Though even in that case it's not necessarily a generalization problem. Suppose every single "test" input happens to be identical to one that appeared in "training", and the feedback is always good.)
Generalization-based. This categorization is based on the common distinction in machine learning between failures on the training distribution, and out of distribution failures. Specifically, we use the following process to categorize misalignment failures:
- Was the feedback provided on the actual training data bad? If so, this is an instance of outer misalignment.
- Did the learned program generalize poorly, leading to bad behavior, even though the feedback on the training data is good? If so, this is an instance of inner misalignment.
This categorization is non-exhaustive. Suppose we create a superintelligence via a training process with good feedback signal and no distribution shift. Should we expect that no existential catastrophe will occur during this training process?
The smooth graphs seem like good evidence that there are much smoother underlying changes in the model, and that the abruptness of the change is about behavior or evaluation rather than what gradient descent is learning.
If we're trying to predict abrupt changes in the accuracy of output token sequences, the per-token log-likelihood can be a useful signal. What's the analogous signal when we're talking about abrupt changes in a model's ability to deceptively conceal capabilities, hack GPU firmware, etc.? What log-likelihood plots can we use to predict those types of abrupt changes in behavior?
The Partnership may never make a profit
I couldn't find this quote in the page that you were supposedly quoting from. The only google result for it is this post. Am I missing something?
That being said, I think that, most of the time, alignment work ending up in training data is good, since it can help our AI systems be differentially better at AI alignment research (e.g. relative to how good they are at AI capabilities research), which is something that I think is pretty important.
That consideration seems relevant only for language models that will be doing/supporting alignment work.
Maybe the question here is whether including certain texts in relevant training datasets can cause [language models that pose an x-risk] to be created X months sooner than otherwise.
The relevant texts I'm thinking about here are:
Is that because you think it would be hard to get the relevant researchers to exclude any given class of texts from their training datasets [EDIT: or prevent web crawlers from downloading the texts etc.]? Or even if that part was easy, you would still feel that that lever is very small?
Did OpenAI/Anthropic allow you to evaluate smaller scale versions* of GPT4/Claude before training the full-scale model?
* [EDIT: and full-scale models in earlier stages of the training process]