2017-18 New Year review

2017 progress

Research/career:

FLI / other AI safety:

Rationality / effectiveness:

  • Streamlined self-tracking data analysis and made an iPython notebook for plots. Found that the amount of sleep I get is correlated with tiredness (0.32), but not with mood indicators (anger, anxiety, or distractability). Anger and anxiety are correlated with each other though (0.36). Distractability is correlated with tiredness (0.27) and anticorrelated with anger the next day for some reason (-0.31).
  • Ran house check-in sessions on goals and habits 1-2 times a month, two house sessions on Hamming questions, and check-ins with Janos every 1-2 weeks.
  • Did a sleep CBT program with sleep restriction for 2 months. Comparing the 5 months before the program vs the 5 months after the program, evening insomnia rate went down from 16% to 8.2% of the time, and morning insomnia rate didn’t change (9%). Average hours of sleep didn’t change (7 hours), but going to sleep around 22 minutes earlier on average. This excludes jetlag days (at most 3 days after a flight with at least 3 hours of time difference).
  • Did around 80 exercise classes (starting in March)

Fun stuff:

  • Moved into our new group house (Deep End).
  • Explored the UK (hiking in Wales, Scotland, Lake District).
  • Got back into aerial silks.
  • Got into circling.
  • Got a pixie haircut.
  • Family reunion in France with Russian relatives I haven’t seen in a decade.
  • Went to Burning Man and learned to read Tarot (as part of our camp theme).
  • Did the Stoic Week.
  • Played a spy scavenger hunt game.

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2017 prediction outcomes

Predictions:

  1. Our AI safety team will have at least two papers accepted for publication at a major conference, not counting workshops (70%) – 2 papers (human preferences paper at NIPS and reward corruption paper at IJCAI)
  2. I will write at least 9 blog posts (50%) – 6 posts
  3. I will meditate at least 250 days (45%) – 237 days
  4. I will exercise at least 250 days (55%) – 194 days
  5. I will visit at least 2 new countries (80%) – France, Switzerland
  6. I will attend Burning Man (85%) – yes

Calibration:

  • Everything that got at least 70% confidence was correct, everything lower was wrong.
  • Like last year, my low predictions seem overconfident (though too few data points to judge).

2018 goals and predictions

Resolutions:

  1. Write at least 2 AI blog posts that are not about conferences (1 last year) (70%)
  2. Avoid processed sugar* at least until end of March (90%)
  3. Do at most 4 non-research talks/panels (7 last year) (50%)
  4. Meditate on at least 250 days (50%)

* not in a super strict way: it’s ok to eat fruit and 90% chocolate and try a really small quantity (< teaspoon) of a dessert.

Predictions:

  1. Our AI safety team will have at least two papers accepted for publication at a major conference, not counting workshops (80%)
  2. I will write at least 6 blog posts (60%)
  3. I will go to at least 100 exercise classes (80 last year) (60%)
  4. 1-2 housemate turnover at the Deep End (3 last year) (70%)
  5. I will visit at least 3 new cities with population over 100,000 (4 last year) (50%)
  6. I will go on at least 2 hikes (4 last year) (90%)

Past new year reviews: 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15.

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