The Monthly EA Newsletter – July 2016 Edition
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We hope you’re enjoying your summer (or winter)!

Stop by the Bay Area a month from now to enjoy it even more – EA Global is on again!


The team
Articles and Community Posts
Julia Wise shares some practical steps for self-care on her blog. Feel free to comment with additional tips.

“Six Mistakes You've Probably Been Making About Effective Altruism (The Last One Will Shock You)” is one of the comments below this summary article on mistakes in the EA community. Happy clicking!

Did you know that there are 300+ EA Facebook groups around the world? This list lists them all.

“Cellular agriculture – the production of animal products in cell cultures – has the potential to massively reduce suffering by replacing systems of animal exploitation.” This article outlines some scenarios for cellular agriculture.

AI safety research is getting traction: “Concrete Problems in AI Safety”, a collaboration among scientists from Google, Stanford and Berkeley, was co-authored by EAs Dario Amodei and Paul Christiano.

The EAGx organizers in Boston wrote up this comprehensive post on their experience, covering everything from start to finish. A great read for anyone organizing an event like that.
Updates from EA Organizations
80,000 Hours

80,000 Hours launched their significantly updated career guide, receiving over 100,000 views and 5,000 newsletter sign-ups in one week. They also made two great new hires.

Animal Charity Evaluators

ACE released two blog posts in preparation for their annual charity evaluations on the role of standout charities and 2016 updates to their evaluation process. They opened up the first call for proposals with $1 million in funding to support research that contributes to a better understanding of effective animal advocacy.

Foundational Research Institute

FRI released new publications on ethics and strategy, and translated its policy paper “Artificial Intelligence: Opportunities and Risks” into English.

Future of Humanity Institute

Several FHI researchers spent most of the month attending technical conferences, including ICML, CVPR and UAI, where they presented their research with Google DeepMind, including the paper “Safely Interruptible Agents”, which received significant media attention. FHI also hired two Research Fellows, Miles Brundage and Jan Leike, for the Strategic AI Research Centre (SAIRC).

Giving What We Can

Giving What We Can released a wide variety of research reports on areas including economic empowerment and climate change. This month they’re running their Talk to your friends campaign, bringing together the community’s top tips for talking about effective altruism. Join in!.


GiveWell published their mid-year update for their top charity recommendations, leaving their recommendations unchanged.

Global Priorities Project

GPP submitted a joint recommendation to the House of Commons for an AI transparency research fund and AI safety horizon scanning team, drawing together input from FHI, CSER, FLI and others in the broader community.

Machine Intelligence Research Institute

MIRI has announced major progress on two AI safety open problems: formalizing rationality in multi-agent settings and assigning probabilities to mathematical statements. Participants in MIRI’s Colloquium Series on Robust and Beneficial AI have also built a set of OpenAI Gym safety environments.

Open Philanthropy Project

Following its earlier case study on the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Open Philanthropy Project published a case study on the founding and growth of the Center for Global Development. Both case studies are part of the Open Philanthropy Project's History of Philanthropy project.

Sentience Politics (Special Update)

Sentience Politics launched a ballot initiative for fundamental rights for primates in Basel, Switzerland. Their policy paper (available in English) calls for fundamental rights to life and physical and mental integrity for non-human primates. Achieving basic rights for the first non-human species could serve as a stepping stone towards extending rights to other species and ending factory farming. Switzerland's leading newspaper reported favorably (German only) on the initiative.

In addition, Sentience Politics published a policy paper on cultured meat and a blog article detailing their future plans. They also published all talk recordings from the Sentience Conference.

Students for High-Impact Charity

New meta-charity Students for High-Impact Charity (SHIC) has launched an Indiegogo campaign to get the funding they need to continue. SHIC is looking to establish 50+ secondary schools and university clubs worldwide at the start of the next semester and collect detailed information on the effectiveness of the program.

The Life You Can Save

Ethics Philosopher Peter Singer, founder of The Life You Can Save, turns 70 this month. If his work in philosophical ethics, notably effective altruism and animal rights, has touched you, consider a message and/or donation in his honor at special landing pages created for this occasion.
Other Announcements

Only 4 weeks to go until EA Global 2016 – the largest gathering of effective altruists in history with 1,000+ attendees and 50+ speakers, including the co-founder of Skype, advisors in the White House and the Director of J-Pal. It looks set to sell out far in advance, so apply today to reserve a spot.

While we’re at it, there’s also going to be an EA Global research meeting for postgraduate students and early-stage academics. The call for abstracts closes on July 10.
What is Effective Altruism?

New to EA? Curious to learn more? Have a look at the EA FAQ site and the EA Handbook . Feel free to join the main EA Facebook group as well.

In short though: EA is a growing social movement founded on the desire to make the world as good a place as it can be, the use of evidence and reason to find out how to do so, and the audacity to actually try.
Timeless Classics

If you don’t know Nick Bostrom’s 2003 paper “Astronomical Waste: The Opportunity Cost of Delayed Technological Development”, do have a look! It’s not long and makes for a fascinating read.
Go forth and do the most good!

Let us know how you liked this edition and how we can improve further. Thanks a lot to everyone who has submitted feedback so far – it's been really useful!

See you again on August 4!

Georgie, Michał, Pascal and Sören
– The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team

The Effective Altruism Newsletter is a joint project between the Centre for Effective Altruism, the Effective Altruism Hub and .impact
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A community project of the Centre for Effective Altruism, a registered charity in England and Wales, Registered Charity Number 1149828 Centre for Effective Altruism, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Littlegate House, St Ebbes Street, Oxford OX1 1PT, UK

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