Does China have AI alignment resources/institutions? How can we prioritize creating more?

post by jskatt (jakubkraus07@gmail.com) · 2022-08-04T19:23:24.175Z · EA · GW · 7 comments

This is a question post.

Is there any Mandarin equivalent of the AGI Safety Fundamentals course? Someone could translate the curriculum into Mandarin. Translation doesn't matter as much if many Chinese people speak English, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all.

That's just one thought that motivated me to write this question. It would be extremely valuable to introduce Chinese students and professionals to AGI safety. Not only because China has a strong AI industry, but also because China has >1.4 billion people. Yet as far as I know, most AI alignment projects and organizations target English speakers. I've spent very little time researching AI alignment in China, and I could certainly be wrong.

If people want to do more research, I'd recommend the 2022 AI Index Report. Here is a (possibly misleading; again, I haven't looked into this carefully) graph from page 26:

From the 2022 AI Index Report.

Answers

answer by anson.ho · 2022-08-05T22:41:18.958Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Both Human Compatible and the Alignment Newsletter have translations into Mandarin. There are also translations that are potentially less alignment-specific, like Life 3.0, The Precipice, Technical Countermeasures for Security Risks of Artificial General Intelligence, etc.

comment by jskatt (jakubkraus07@gmail.com) · 2022-08-06T17:54:33.260Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

That's great. Seems that these days all the Alignment Newsletter translations go directly onto the English website.

answer by Michael Huang · 2022-08-05T01:52:00.165Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Translation is a great idea.

It was one of the winners of the Future Fund’s Project Ideas Competition [EA · GW], and it's now listed on the project ideas page.

A problem unique to Chinese content is to ensure that it doesn't get blocked by their internet censorship policy.

comment by jskatt (jakubkraus07@gmail.com) · 2022-08-05T18:02:50.377Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Excellent, I'm happy to see that! However, I'm concerned that the proposal focuses entirely on translating general EA concepts.

Publications we might start with include effectivealtruism.org, the 80,000 Hours ‘key idea’ series, and Toby Ord’s The Precipice.

I think it is much higher priority (from the perspective of reducing AI x-risk) to translate AI alignment concepts, particularly the AGI Safety Fundamentals course material. It takes a lot of inferences to go from "I'm interested in doing good" to "I like EA ideas" to "I think AI alignment is important" to "I want to work on AI, where can I start?" And even if many Mandarin speakers reach that last point through a Mandarin translation of 80,000 Hours, they will currently find very few (if any?) structured opportunities to skill [EA · GW] up [? · GW] for AI alignment.

Additionally, I don't think one needs to know about longtermism [EA · GW] and QALYs and PlayPumps to recognize the importance of AI alignment work. Nor does one need to care about doing as much good as possible with their career. One only needs to grasp why AI might be extremely dangerous and why advanced capabilities might be coming [EA · GW] soon [LW · GW].

One more point is that translating AI alignment resources may have lower risks than translating general EA content [EA · GW].

answer by BrownHairedEevee (evelynciara) · 2022-08-05T03:26:01.267Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Via Fai [EA · GW]:

comment by jskatt (jakubkraus07@gmail.com) · 2022-08-05T18:28:05.418Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for sharing these. The Chinese Association for AGI appears to focus on advancing AI capabilities rather than AI safety. I used Google Translate to translate the lead paragraph of the website's current opening page:

Notice of the 7th China General Artificial Intelligence Annual Conference

The China General Artificial Intelligence Annual Conference has been successfully held for six consecutive sessions. It is an annual event for Chinese general artificial intelligence enthusiasts, involving computer science, philosophy, logic, education, psychology, sociology, law, medicine and other disciplines. In order to better demonstrate and promote the research and application of general artificial intelligence, the 7th China General Artificial Intelligence Annual Conference in 2022 will be held at Northwest University for Nationalities in Lanzhou City.

answer by jskatt · 2022-08-07T20:55:00.634Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Vael Gates's post "Resources I send to AI researchers about AI safety [EA · GW]" offers this:

AI Safety in China

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