December newsletter

December 2020 gwern.net newsletter with links on AI and technology; major new site feature: fully-generalized recursive popups.

December 2020’s Gwern.netnewsletter is now out; previous, November 2020 (archives). This is a summary of the revision-history RSS feed, overlapping with my Changelog & /r/gwern; brought to you by my donors on Patreon.

1 Writings

  • Gwern.net: recursive link annotations (memoized for efficiency in a “Link Bibliography”); fully generalized cross-element/page/document/website popups on desktop (demo); syntax highlighting of source code popups (demo); directory indexes

    • Substack readers: obviously you can’t see any of this in the email. Visit the site to check it out. We’re pretty proud of it (as miserable as it has been getting all the details right).

2 Links

2.1 AI

Matters Of Scale:

2.2 Genetics

Everything Is Heritable:

Engineering:

2.3 Statistics/Meta-Science/Math

2.4 Psychology/Biology

2.5 Technology

2.6 Philosophy

2.7 Fiction


  1. The consequences of creating a mouse-scale brain—as opposed to a ‘mouse-in-a-can’—will be weird: even AI experts have a poor imagination and tend to imagine AI minds as either glorified calculators or humans-in-a-robot-suit, rather than trying to imagine a diverse Technium richer than biological ecosystems filled with minds with bizarre patterns of weaknesses & strengths (GPT-3/AI-Dungeon or AlphaGo/AlphaStar/OA5 ‘delusions’ are just the start), evolving at a computer pace, filling & creating new niches in a global economy. “The street finds its own use for things”—I can’t predict what somebody in China will do with my anime GANs last year, how can anyone hope to predict what everyone can do with a mind decades from now? If your vision of the future is not weird & disturbing (and orthogonal to current culture wars), you aren’t trying.↩︎