CEO @ Redwood Research
6388 karmaJoined Working (6-15 years)Berkeley, CA, USA


Note: When an earlier private version of these notes was circulated, a senior figure in technical AI safety strongly contested my description. They believe that the Anthropic SAE work is much more valuable than the independent SAE work, as both were published around the same time, but the Anthropic work provides sufficient evidence to be worth extending by other researchers, whereas the independent research was not dispositive.

For the record, if the researcher here was COI’d, eg working at Anthropic, I think you should say so, and you should also substantially discount what they said.

I’d bet against that but not confident

I don’t think he says anything in the manifesto about why AI is going to go better if he starts a “hedge fund/think tank”.

I haven’t heard a strong case for him doing this project but it seems plausibly reasonable. My guess is I’d think it was a suboptimal choice if I heard his arguments and thought about it, but idk.

I'd bet that he didn't mean black people here.


For what it's worth, I'm 75% confident that Hanania didn't mean black people with the "animals" comment.

I think it's generally bad form to not take people at their word about the meaning of their statements, though I'm also very sympathetic to the possibility of provocateurs exploiting charity to get away with dogwhistles (and I think Hanania deserves more suspicion of this than most), so I feel mixed about you using it as an example here.

I don't think Hanania is exactly well-positioned to build support on the right; he constantly talks about how much contempt he has for conservatives.


He lays out the relevant part of his perspective in "The Free World Must Prevail" and "Superalignment" in his recent manifesto.

I think it's pretty unreasonable to call him a Nazi--he'd hate Nazis, because he loves Jews and generally dislikes dumb conservatives.

I agree that he seems pretty racist.

Most importantly, it seems to me that the people in EA leadership that I felt were often the most thoughtful about these issues took a step back from EA, often because EA didn't live up to their ethical standards, or because they burned out trying to affect change and this recent period has been very stressful

Who on your list matches this description? Maybe Becca if you think she's thoughtful on these issues? But isn't that one at most?

I think that one reason this isn’t done is that the people who have the best access to such metrics might not think it’s actually that important to disseminate them to the broader EA community, rather than just sharing them as necessary with the people for whom these facts are most obviously action-relevant.

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