Announcing the Forecasting Innovation Prize

post by Ozzie Gooen (oagr), NunoSempere · 2020-11-15T21:21:52.151Z · EA · GW · 7 comments


  Research Feedback
  Some Possible Research Areas


There is already a fair amount of interest around Effective Altruism in judgemental forecasting. We think there’s a whole lot of good research left to be done.

The valuable research seems to be all over the place. We could use people to speculate on research directions, outline incentive mechanisms, try novel forecasting questions with friends, and outline new questions that deserve forecasts. Some of this requires a fair amount of background knowledge, but a lot doesn’t. 

The EA and LW communities have a history of using prizes [EA(p) · GW(p)] to encourage work in exciting areas. We’re going to try one in forecasting research. If this goes well, we’d like to continue and expand this going forward.


This prize will total $1000 between multiple recipients, with a minimum first place prize of $500. We will aim for 2-5 recipients in total. The prize will be paid for by the Quantified Uncertainty Research Institute (QURI).


To enter, first make a public post online between now and Jan 1, 2021. We encourage you to either post directly or make a link post to either LessWrong or the EA Forum. Second, complete this form, also before Jan 1, 2021. 

Research Feedback

If you’d like feedback or would care to discuss possible research projects, please do reach out! To do so, fill out this form. We’re happy to advise at any stages of the process. 


The judges will be AlexRJL [EA · GW], Nuño Sempere [EA · GW], Eric Neyman, Tamay Besiroglu [EA · GW], Linch Zhang [EA · GW] and Ozzie Gooen [EA · GW]. The details of the judging process will vary depending on how many submissions we get. We’ll try to select winners for their importance, novelty, and presentation.

Some Possible Research Areas

Areas of work we would be excited to see explored:


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by markus_over · 2020-11-20T16:24:16.148Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Nice! In the few minutes of reading this post I came up with five ideas for related things I could (and maybe should) write a post on. My only issue is that there's only 6 weeks of time for this, and I'm not sure if that'll be enough for me to finish even one given my current schedule. But I'll see what I can do. May even be the right kind of pressure, as otherwise I'd surely be following Parkinson's law and work on a post for way too long.

(The many examples you posted were very helpful by the way, as without them I would have assumed I don't have much to contribute here)

Replies from: NunoSempere, oagr
comment by NunoSempere · 2020-11-21T19:52:25.522Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

five ideas for related things I could (and maybe should) write a post on

Do you want to make some of them public so that other people can steal them?

Replies from: markus_over
comment by markus_over · 2020-11-22T10:14:00.381Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Sure. Those I can mention without providing too much context:

  • calibrating on one's future behavior by making a large amount of systematic predictions on a weekly basis
  • utilizing quantitative predictions in the process of setting goals and making plans
  • not prediction-related, but another thing your post triggered: applying the "game jam principle" (developing a complete video game in a very short amount of time, such as 48 hours) to EA forum posts and thus trying to get from idea to published post within a single day; because I realized writing a forum post is (for me, and a few others I've spoken to) often a multi-week-to-month endeavour, and it doesn't have to be that way, plus there are surely diminishing returns to the amount of polishing you put into it

If anybody actually ends up planning to write a post on any of these, feel free to let me know so I'll make sure focus on something else.

Replies from: NunoSempere
comment by NunoSempere · 2020-11-22T11:04:31.679Z · EA(p) · GW(p)


comment by Ozzie Gooen (oagr) · 2020-11-20T21:01:40.662Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks! That's useful to know. I intend to host more prizes in the future but can't promise things yet. 

There's no harm in writing up a bunch of rough ideas instead of aiming for something that looks super impressive. We're optimizing more to encourage creativity and inspire good ideas, rather than to produce work that can be highly cited. 

You can look through my LessWrong posts [LW · GW] for examples of the kinds of things I'm used to. A few were a lot of work, but many just took a few hours or so. 

comment by markus_over · 2020-12-30T12:19:12.024Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

"Before January 1st" in any particular time zone? I'll probably (85%) publish something within the next ~32h at the time of writing this comment. In case you're based in e.g. Australia or Asia that might then be January 1st already. Hope that still qualifies. :)

Replies from: alexrjl
comment by alexrjl · 2020-12-30T13:54:10.598Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

We'd be happy to accept this.