I'm a researcher at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute. I've lived in the Bay Area since 2013, when I moved here from Australia. I try to work to make the future good for sentient beings; at the moment I believe that working on existential risk from artificial intelligence is my best bet for doing this.
Within computer science I like functional programming and data structures; other areas of science I like include the physics that leads to chemistry (that is, the nonrelativistic quantum mechanics of electrons), evolutionary theory, and cell biology.
Here are the most interesting things I've written. My most interesting open source projects are:
Blog (All posts) (Best posts) (RSS)
- In what way are CNNs really biologically inspired?
- You can quickly get a sense of a field by hiring tutors who are experts in it
- Reverse physics
- Why aren't the Sun and Jupiter blurry?
- 'Other people are wrong' vs 'I am right'
- Why I'm less of a hedonic utilitarian than I used to be
- A surprisingly hard CS problem: sums of square roots
- The weirdest ideas I take seriously
- Kelly betting and Bayesian inference
- Looking at the Schrödinger equation radially
- Uncontroversial opinion: the internment of Japanese Americans was bad
- Most matter is not made of atoms
- Notes on thermal physics
- Relay programming
- A project to model some aspects of an illusionist account of consciousness
- Unaligned optimization processes as a general problem for society
- Different mechanisms by which humans follow incentives
- Would I survive in a universe made of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics?
- Ways I've changed my mind about effective altruism over the past year
- Cesar Chavez Day
- Why are less intelligent people more racist?
- Hash map implementations in practice
- Wild speculations on the balance of pain and pleasure
- A dynamic programming algorithm for the Gini coefficient
- Optimal resource allocation between manufacturing and research