I haven't seen compelling (to me) examples of people going successfully from psychology to algorithms without stopping to consider anything whatsoever about how the brain is constructed .
Some recent examples, off the top of my head!
This was a great read! I wonder how much you're committed to "brain-inspired" vs "mind-inspired" AGI, given that the approach to "understanding the human brain" you outline seems to correspond to Marr's computational and algorithmic levels of analysis, as opposed to the implementational level (see link for reference). In which case, some would argue, you don't necessarily have to do too much neuroscience to reverse engineer human intelligence. A lot can be gleaned by doing classic psychological experiments to validate the functional roles of various aspect... (read more)
Yup! And yeah I think those are open research questions -- inference over certain kinds of non-parametric Bayesian models is tractable, but not in general. What makes me optimistic is that humans in similar cultures have similar priors over vast spaces of goals, and seem to do inference over that vast space in a fairly tractable manner. I think things get harder when you can't assume shared priors over goal structure or task structure, both for humans and machines.
Belatedly reading this and have a lot of thoughts about the connection between this issue and robustness to ontological shifts (which I've written a bit about here), but I wanted to share a paper which takes a very small step in addressing some of these questions by detecting when the human's world model may diverge from a robot's world model, and using that as an explanation for why a human might seem to be acting in strange or counter-productive ways:
Where Do You Think You're Going?: Inferring Beliefs about Dynamics from BehaviorSiddharth Reddy, Anca D.
Belatedly seeing this post, but I wanted to note that probabilistic programming languages (PPLs) are centered around this basic idea! Some useful links and introductions to PPLs as a whole:- Probabilistic models of cognition (web book)- WebPPL- An introduction to models in Pyro- Introduction to Modeling in Gen
And here's a really fascinating paper by some of my colleagues that tries to model causal interventions that go beyond Pearl's do-operator, by formalizing causal interventions as (probabilistic) program transformations:
Bayesian causal inference via pr
Replying to the specific comments:
This still seems like a fair way to evaluate what the alignment community thinks about, but I think it is going to overestimate how parochial the community is. For example, if you go by "what does Stuart Russell think is important", I expect you get a very different view on the field, much of which won't be in the Alignment Newsletter.
I agree. I intended to gesture a little bit at this when I mentioned that "Until more recently, It’s also been excluded and not taken very seriously within traditional academia", because I th... (read more)
Thanks for this summary. Just a few things I would change:
Thanks for these thoughts! I'll respond to your disagreement with the framework here, and to the specific comments in a separate reply.First, with respect to my view about the sources of AI risk, the characterization you've put forth isn't quite accurate (though it's a fair guess, since I wasn't very explicit about it). In particular:
In exchange for the mess, we get a lot closer to the structure of what humans think when they imagine the goal of "doing good." Humans strive towards such abstract goals by having a vague notion of what it would look and feel like, and by breaking down those goals into more concrete sub-tasks. This encodes a pattern of preferences over universe-histories that treats some temporally extended patterns as "states."
Thank you for writing this post! I've had very similar thoughts for the past year or so, and I think the quote above is exactly right. IMO, part of... (read more)
Thanks for writing up this post! It's really similar in spirit to some research I've been working on with others, which you can find on the ArXiv here: https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.07532 We also model bounded goal-directed agents by assuming that the agent is running some algorithm given bounded compute, but our approach differs in the following ways: