Yeah, this all sounds right, and it's fairly close to the narrative I was using for my previous draft, which had a section on some of these motives.
The best defense I can give of the switch to the hype-centric framing, FWIW:
That said, I agree that this framing is a little bit too charitable, to the point of making implausible implications about some of these authors' motives in some cases, which isn't a good look. I also hadn't thought of the wasted effort point, which seems quite useful here. I'm giving a few talks about this over the next few weeks, and I'll workshop some tweaks to the framing with this in mind.
Forum I can see the comment at the comment-specific AF permalink here:
https://www.alignmentforum.org/posts/RLHkSBQ7zmTzAjsio/nlp-position-paper-when-combatting-hype-proceed-with-caution?commentId=pSkdAanZQwyT4Xyit#pSkdAanZQwyT4Xyit...but I can't see it among the comments at the base post URL here.
From my experience with the previous comment, I expect it'll appear at the latter URL once I reply?
[Old technique] had [problem]...
Ah, got it. That makes sense! I'll plan to say a bit more about when/how it makes sense to cite older evidence in cases like this.
Thanks! Tentative rewrite for the next revision:
It harms our credibility in ways that can make it harder to mitigate present-day harms from NLP deployments. It also limits our ability to prepare for the potentially enormous impacts of more distant future advances.
I tried to stick to 'present-day' over 'short-term', but missed this old bit of draft text in the abstract.
Thanks! (Typo fixed.)
For this point, I'm not sure how it fits into the argument. Could you say more?
Is there any empirical base...
Yeah, this is a missed opportunity that I haven't had the time/expertise to take on. There probably are comparable situations in the histories of other applied research fields, but I'm not aware of any good analogies. I suspect that a deep dive into some history-and-sociology-of-science literature would be valuable here.
What if the impact grows dramatically as...they get deployed widely? ...
I think this kind of discussion is already well underway within NLP and adjacent subfields like FaCCT. I don't have as much to add there.
(Weird meta-note: Are you aware of something unusual about how this comment is posted? I saw a notification for it, but I didn't see it in the comments section for the post itself until initially submitting this reply. I'm newish to posting on Lightcone forums...)
Thanks—fixed! (The sentence-final period got folded into the URL.)
Another very minor (but briefly confusing) nit: The notation in the `Example' section is inconsistent between probabilities and log probabilities. It introduces Hprior(z) (etc.) as a probability, but then treats it as a log probability in the line starting with 'We find the z∗'.