DDN

Dušan D. Nešić (Dushan)

Director of Operations @ PIBBSS
432 karmaJoined May 2022Working (6-15 years)

Bio

Participation
4

Director of Operations in PIBBSS, professor of Finance and Economics, trainer of Confidence and Public Speech, and corporate coach for Team Skills and Leadership. Consultant and Entrepreneur, with experience in Asia and Europe, especially China. I have a long history of working in charity but was always bothered by the ineffectiveness, and EA is exactly what I was looking for all this time. I developed charities in China where this was extremely difficult, growing clubs from 0 to 100 and helping clubs open in new cities and universities, doing community building with 0 funds.

My current meme to spread is that EA needs more outreach to existing Charity organizations.

How others can help me

I am interested in ways in which I can combine as much of my past knowledge into a useful bundle for an EA-aligned organization. My personal interests also lie in EA Infrastructure growth, helping scale EA through partnerships with existing organizations and collecting recruits from them.

How I can help others

If any of my previous experiences sound useful to you, reach out - whether you want to develop them or utilize them. My LinkedIn profile might give a bit more of a glimpse into the more formal experiences I had, but the main skills are presented in the bio here already.

Sequences
1

Learning what we can from Non-EA Altruist Organizations

Comments
42

Finally out, our 2023 retrospective! https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/izWpWJRoqXPLoqSv9/retrospective-pibbss-fellowship-2023 (Apologies, I don't know how to do links on mobile) I know it's too late for the ball, but my completionist mind needed to close this open question. This reflection does include research output, and even a bit of retrospective on what alumni from 2022 did.

TLDR: PIBBSS has room for funding for additional research affiliates! We can support additional affiliates at 35k USD per individual for 6 months.


 

PIBBSS is a research initiative aiming to leverage insights on the parallels between intelligent behaviour in natural and artificial systems towards progress on making AI systems safe and aligned. We run a number of programs (e.g. summer fellowship, affiliate program, reading group, speaker series) aimed at facilitating this type of research, identifying and leveraging high caliber talent, and building a strong epistemic community around this epistemic approach to AI alignment. 


 

Since our inception ~2 years ago, we have been able to produce results supporting the impact potential of PIBBSS’ core epistemic bet and to build traction. Encouraged by these results, we recently launched our affiliate program with the goal of providing long-term, tailored support to excellent researchers pursuing “PIBBSS-style” AI alignment research.


 

We are currently in the process of selecting our first batch of research affiliates (likely ~4-6). We would be able to support more affiliates (in terms of operational and research facilitation capacity) but are constrained by funding (mainly for salaries and travel expenses). We have been very impressed by the applicant pool, and would have been excited to make at least 2 additional offers during this round. 


 

At the current margins, any additional affiliate costs us 35k USD for 6 months. 


 

Depending on the speed of when the funding would some through, the funding would either go towards hiring more affiliates at the this or the next (~spring 2024) round of applications, or extending our support to existing affiliates beyond the initial 6-months commitment


 

If you wish to know more, feel free to reach out to us via contact@pibbss.ai.

Hi Nickolai! Sure thing; generally, the maximum stay of 90 days for other countries is limited to 90 days in 180 days. However,, for Russian and Chinese citizens, the limit is 30 days, but there is no limit to how many times this can be done. Thus, so long as you cross a border (for example by bus into Bosnia, which has the same rule and is 2 hours away from Belgrade) once a month, you can stay indefinitely (and I have known people who did so for ~7 years already). This allows you to work from here and have a bank account here, all without having to take out a residency permit. Even getting those permits is not too expensive, as one can open a company fairly cheaply and get a visa based on that, getting corporate accounts and related benefits of residency (ability to apply for other countries' visas from here and gaining citizenship after 3-5 years, although you usually have to give up your own passport).

Thanks for the input Matheus - yes indeed, they create quite tight communities in really diverse places, lots to learn! I hope to post more about successes in cooperation once we have them :)

I find your focus on outer game strange. Given the already existing support of the public for going slowly and deliberately, there seems to be a decent case that instead of trying to build public support, we should directly target the policymakers. It's not clear what extra public support buys us here. In fact, I suspect it might be far more valuable to lobby the industry to try to reduce the amount of opposition such laws might receive.

These are not exclusive to each other, but complementary. Calling your local senator is only made stronger if the same senator sees protests on the streets calling for the same thing you are calling for.


This is a worrying figure to me. If we slow down licensing too much, we almost guarantee that the first super-intelligence is not going to be developed by anyone going through the proper process. Not to mention all of the hours wasted on bureaucratic requirements, rather than actually building an aligned system.

The regulations on guns/nuclear weapons/bioweapons mean that most public uses are by people not going through the proper process. Still worth regulating them!

My understanding (non-expert) is that the inside game is whatever uses the system as is. Outside is things that try to break the system or put pressure in ways that the system generally does not legibly take as inputs. So, talking to existing officials to use existing ways of regulation is maximum inside game. Throwing a coup and enacting dictatorial powers in order to regulate is maximum outside game. Lobbying is more inside, and protesting is more outside. So when we say "target policymakers", the question is how? Are you sending polite emails with reasoned arguments, or are you throwing buckets of computer chips at their car as they drive by? (I do not endorse doing this, and I say this for comedic effect :D )

Thanks, Allison!

The commitment is actually not that huge - there are many clubs, and many of them are quite small, meaning that every year ~20% of members are board members, and people usually do not want to be board members multiple times, so even a year after joining you can make your way up with ambition and drive.

My hope is absolutely to aim for cause prioritization within Rotary - and Rotarians I spoke to are quite keen on the idea! No one likes being ineffective!

(Yes, that's often the case when incentives are poor - I think things would be different if you were given a budget and asked to create maximum impact with guidance from someone experienced, a la Charity Elections!)

Happy to hear that you find it useful!

Yes, my subjective feeling from talking to people at EAG London, ~<30% people knew of Rotary. That was surprising to me, so this post was pushed higher on my priorities list.

Just a quick comment to add to what Jacob said - my intuition is if I am currently using A, and B appears which seems the same, then I will not switch because I already know A and am used to A, and people I have personal relations with are selling me A etc... For me to switch, B must be much better; in this case, plant-based causes less suffering, but how much do people care about this, compared to signalling and such? Seems intuitive to me that to make the shift, additional campaigns need to be made to make this a clear-cut change, it will not happen 100% by default.

If I remember correctly, the application form says if you are an individual then choosing to be anonymous is not held against you. If you are an org asking for anonymous donation then it is slightly held against you in the decision making process.

I can imagine there could be grants for orgs to work on infohazardous things which would need to be anonymized, and I am unsure how to handle these. Still, overall it seems like these are mostly small-ish grants to individuals, so I am OK with it, and as you said, the bigger the grant the higher the burden I would put on the org to not be anonymous. To be clear, I assume that's what LTFF does anyway.

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