EAG 2017 London: Preventing deaths from pesticide self-poisoning (Leah Utyasheva)

Intentional pesticide poisoning is a major clinical and public health problem in agricultural communities in low-income countries. Every year at least 150,000 people die after ingesting pesticides, the majority in the Asia-Pacific and African regions. Most deaths follow ingestion of highly hazardous pesticides. People die because they stop breathing, frequently before they arrive at hospitals where they could receive life-saving treatment.

One of the key barriers to pesticide suicide reduction is a lack of human capacity for effective pesticide regulation, such as gathering data on the specific HHPs most commonly used for suicide in the country, and an absence of mechanisms for surveillance of pesticide poisoning. The Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention aims to substantially reduce the global number of pesticide suicides, by working with national pesticide regulators and the UN to identify the hazardous pesticides through research and reduce their use through regulation.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).

EAG 2017 London: Clean Meat—Holy Grail or Pipe Dream? (Natalie Cargill, Seren Kell, and Alex Foster)

The meat industry has to change. Industrial livestock farming causes more than one-fifth of global greenhouse emissions. It uses more than 70% of total agricultural land. It means billions of animals are raised and killed in systems that disregard their welfare, and these systems are inefficient, expensive, and a threat to global health.

Is clean meat the answer? Is the science feasible? And will it ever be as cheap as conventional meat? We outline the judgment calls you need to make to decide.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).

EAG 2017 London: Pathways into animal-advocacy research (James Spurgeon)

There are many unanswered research questions in effective animal advocacy that have the potential to shape the direction of the movement in various ways. Unfortunately, there is currently a shortage of researchers to answer these questions, and it is not always clear how someone can pursue a path in animal advocacy research. In this talk, I will be covering three diverse areas where ACE believes research can be particularly impactful—Interventions, Cultured Animal Products, and Wild Animal Suffering—with a focus on discussing the sort of researchers we need in the movement, and how EAs can contribute to reducing suffering for animals in this way.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).

EAG 2017 London: What we know and don’t know about universal basic income (Alison Fahey)

I discuss the orientation towards the long-term future that motivates some people in the effective altruist community to focus on it.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).

EAG 2017 London: Orienting towards the long-term future (Joseph Carlsmith)

I discuss the orientation towards the long-term future that motivates some people in the effective altruist community to focus on it.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).

EAG 2017 London: Near-term AI security risks, and what to do about them (Shahar Avin)

Reporting the findings from an interdisciplinary workshop organised by FHI and CSER on preventing and mitigating AI misuse, just before our big report comes out. Covers technical, institutional and research agendas for addressing threats to digital, physical and political security.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).

EAG 2017 London: Multiverse-wide cooperation (Caspar Oesterheld)

Some decision theorists argue that when playing a one-shot prisoner’s dilemma-type game against a sufficiently similar opponent, we should cooperate to make it more likely that our opponent also cooperates. This idea, which Hofstadter calls superrationality, has strong implications when combined with the insight from modern physics that we probably live in a large universe or multiverse. If we care about what happens in civilizations located elsewhere in the multiverse, we can superrationally cooperate with some of their inhabitants. That is, if we take their values into account, this makes it more likely that they do the same for us. This talk attempts to assess the practical implications of this idea for effective altruists.

The talk doesn’t assume any specific prior knowledge, but it may be harder to follow if it is your first encounter with the prisoner’s dilemma, Newcomb’s problem, the orthogonality thesis, utility functions and gains from trade.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).

EAG 2017 London: Improving institutional decision-making (Jess Whittlestone)

Governments and other influential institutions often have to make extremely high-stakes decisions, depending on the judgement of a few key people. We know that human judgement and decision-making is far from perfect – but research suggest that practices like calibration training and making explicit forecasts may lead to substantial improvements. Jess will discuss why improving institutional decision-making could be a high-impact cause area worth more attention in EA, and some avenues in this space that seem promising. She will also raise some uncertainties about doing this kind of work, and questions for further exploration.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).

EAG 2017 London: Importance of operations roles in EA/X-risk community (Tanya Singh)

I will be talking about the importance of operations roles in the EA and X-risk community, and the disproportionate impact you can have as an individual when contributing towards running operations. The dearth of interested/talented people willing to run operations makes it a very crucial focus area for organisations (especially in this space). Operational efficiency can hugely amplify the output of the organisation, and turbocharge its mission.

Source: Effective Altruism Global (video).