This is an update covering since our last blog post, November 2018 - March 2019. We appreciate your review, feedback, and/or advice.
Our activity updates are not exhaustive and may sometimes only briefly describe what we’ve been up to. Note that some of our time will be spent investigating future project opportunities (or on other activities) that may not be covered in these posts until our plans are more solid.
BERI is searching for a web developer to manage various Jekyll sites. We are particularly looking for:
a. Someone with strong UX intuitions / design ability b. Willing to accept pay at $100/hr or lower (based on ability) c. Self-directed, can accept broad, rather than narrowly specified asks d. Able to work well with the existing code and program according to its conventions
If you know anyone, please refer them to our contractor roster to apply.
We have hired two full-time Machine Learning Research Engineers to work as part of our collaboration with CHAI. Steven Wang began in November and Cody Wild began work in early April.
We have also hired a part-time employee, Brandon Perry, to assist with CHAI’s operations, and contracted Martin Fukui to help with planning the CHAI Annual Workshop and other events.
We are in the midst of a few capacity-building explorations, including:
- Ongoing fundraising
- Immigration support of collaboration personnel
- Salary benchmarking of the broader talent market
We hired a contractor to provide fact-checking and continued to contract an additional four researchers for the Governance of AI program.
We set-up a BERI Upwork account and hired our first two Upwork contractors for the collaboration.
We printed a pamphlet of the technical report Reframing Superintelligence and sent copies for each attendee to the Puerto Rico conference.
We’ve made grants to the following organizations:
- ALLFED, $25,000.
- Leverage Research, $25,000.
- MIRI, $600,000.
- CEA U.S., restricted to support the activities of 80,000 hours, $350,000.
- Americans for Oxford, to support the research of Yarin Gal, $25,000.
- Leverage Research, $50,000.
- Future of Life Institute, to support the Future of Life Award, $50,000.
We also spent significant time developing an internal tracker of expected donations for our grants program and expected funding opportunities over the next three years, to help us better assess trade-offs between our grant opportunities. We are continuing work to improve this model.
We have delayed our next individual grants round, which was originally expected to be a “Level Up” grants round supporting individuals who wanted to improve their skills in support of eventual x-risk-reducing projects. We’ve been focused on a) catching up on assessing applications to our Organization Grants program and b) responding to inquiries from and reviewing submitted expenses of the individual grant recipients from our previous Project Grants round.
We next expect to set up a rolling Project Grants program to avoid future large gaps in the availability of individual grants from BERI. Timing for this program is still quite uncertain.
We have spent the past several months (and anticipate spending the next few months) working on improving our financial accounting and reporting. As we complete this task, we’re increasing documentation to improve finance task management and future handoffs.
Colleen Gleason left our organization around the new year, and we started a full-time trial of a new candidate, Sofia Davis-Fogel, for our core team in late April. We added a number of employee benefits starting March 2019.
Some Potential Upcoming Projects:
- Redoing our employee handbook and building an overall guide to our collaborations
- Investigating our ability to support US and UK visas for employees and collaboration personnel
- A website refresh
- Rolling individual grants