Get involved

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This page collects some common questions people have about how to contribute to Stampy's Wiki.

What is the Stampy project?

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Stampy is open effort to build a comprehensive FAQ about artificial intelligence existential safety—the field trying to make sure that when we build superintelligent artificial systems they are aligned with human values so that they do things compatible with our survival and flourishing.

We're also building a cleaner web UI for readers and a bot interface.
The Stampy project is open effort to build a comprehensive FAQ about artificial intelligence existential safety—the field trying to make sure that when we build superintelligent artificial systems they are aligned with human values so that they do things compatible with our survival and flourishing.

We're also building a cleaner web UI for readers and a bot interface.

The goals of the project are to:

  • Offer a one-stop-shop for high-quality answers to common questions about AI alignment.
    • Let people answer questions in a way which scales, freeing up researcher time while allowing more people to learn from a reliable source.
    • Make external resources more easy to find by having links to them connected to a search engine which gets smarter the more it's used.
  • Provide a form of legitimate peripheral participation for the AI Safety community, as an on-boarding path with a flexible level of commitment.
    • Encourage people to think, read, and talk about AI alignment while answering questions, creating a community of co-learners who can give each other feedback and social reinforcement.
    • Provide a way for budding researchers to prove their understanding of the topic and ability to produce good work.
  • Collect data about the kinds of questions people actually ask and how they respond, so we can better focus resources on answering them.
If you would like to help out, join us on the Discord and either jump right into editing or read get involved for answers to common questions.

How can I contribute to Stampy?

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If you're not already there, join the Discord where the contributors hang out.

The main ways you can help are to answer questions or add questions, or help to review questions, review answers, or improve answers (instructions for helping out with each of these tasks are on the linked pages). You could also join the dev team if you have programming skills.

Why might contributing to Stampy be worth my time?

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If you're looking for a shovel ready and genuinely useful task to further AI alignment without necessarily committing a large amount of time or needing deep specialist knowledge, we think Stampy is a great option!

Creating a high-quality single point of access where people can be onboarded and find resources around the alignment ecosystem seems likely to be high-impact. So, what makes us the best option?

  1. Unlike all other entry points to learning about alignment, we dodge the trade-off between comprehensiveness and being overwhelmingly long with interactivity (tab explosion in one page!) and semantic search. Single document FAQs can't do this, so we built a system which can.
  2. We have the ability to point large numbers of viewers towards Stampy once we have the content, thanks to Rob Miles and his 100k+ subscribers, so this won't remain an unnoticed curiosity.
  3. Unlike most other entry points, we are open for volunteers to help improve the content.
The main notable one which does is the LessWrong tag wiki, which hosts descriptions of core concepts. We strongly believe in not needlessly duplicating effort, so we're pulling live content from that for the descriptions on our own tag pages, and directing the edit links on those to the edit page on the LessWrong wiki.

You might also consider improving Wikipedia's alignment coverage or the LessWrong wiki, but we think Stampy has the most low-hanging fruit right now. Additionally, contributing to Stampy means being part of a community of co-learners who provide mentorship and encouragement to join the effort to give humanity a bright future. If you're an established researcher or have high-value things to do elsewhere in the ecosystem it might not be optimal to put much time into Stampy, but if you're looking for a way to get more involved it might well be.

What kind of questions do we want on Stampy?

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Stampy is focused specifically on AI existential safety (both introductory and technical questions), but does not aim to cover general AI questions or other topics which don't interact strongly with the effects of AI on humanity's long-term future. More technical questions are also in our scope, though replying to all possible proposals is not feasible and this is not a place to submit detailed ideas for evaluation.

We are interested in:

  • Introductory questions closely related to the field e.g.
    • "How long will it be until transformative AI arrives?"
    • "Why might advanced AI harm humans?"
  • Technical questions related to the field e.g.
    • "What is Cooperative Inverse Reinforcement Learning?"
    • "What is Logical Induction useful for?"
  • Questions about how to contribute to the field e.g.
    • "Should I get a PhD?"
    • "Where can I find relevant job opportunities?"

More good examples can be found at canonical questions.

We do not aim to cover:

  • Aspects of AI Safety or fairness which are not strongly relevant to existential safety e.g.
    • "How should self-driving cars weigh up moral dilemmas"
    • "How can we minimize the risk of privacy problems caused by machine learning algorithms?"
  • Extremely specific and detailed questions the answering of which is unlikely to be of value to more than a single person e.g.
    • "What if we did <multiple paragraphs of dense text>? Would that result in safe AI?"

We will generally not delete out-of-scope content, but it will be reviewed as low priority to answer, not be marked as a canonical question, and not be served to readers by on Stampy's UI.

How can I collect questions for Stampy?

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As well as simply adding your own questions over at ask question, you could also message your friends with something like:

Hi,

I'm working on a project to create a comprehensive FAQ about AI alignment (you can read about it here https://stampy.ai/wiki/Stampy%27s_Wiki if interested). We're looking for questions and I thought you may have some good ones. If you'd be willing to write up a google doc with you top 5-10ish questions we'd be happy to write a personalized FAQ for you. https://stampy.ai/wiki/Scope explains the kinds of questions we're looking for.

Thanks!

and maybe bring the google doc to a Stampy editing session so we can collaborate on answering them or improving your answers to them.

What are the style guidelines for writing for Stampy?

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Avoid directly responding to the question in the answer, repeat the relevant part of the question instead. For example, if the question is "Can we do X", answer "We might be able to do X, if we can do Y", not "Yes, if we can manage Y". This way, the answer will also work for the questions "Why can't we do X" and "What would happen if we tried to do X".

Linking to external sites is strongly encouraged, one of the most valuable things Stampy can do is help people find other parts of the alignment information ecosystem.

Consider enclosing newly introduced terms, likely to be unfamiliar to many readers, in speech marks. If unsure, Google the term (in speech marks!) and see if it shows up anywhere other than LessWrong, the Alignment Forum, etc. Be judicious, as it's easy to use too many, but used carefully they can psychologically cushion newbies from a lot of unfamiliar terminology - in this context they're saying something like "we get that we're hitting you with a lot of new vocab, and you might not know what this term means yet".

When selecting related questions, there shouldn't be more than four unless there's a really good reason for that (some questions are asking for it, like the "Why can't we just..." question). It's also recommended to include at least one more "enticing" question to draw users in (relating to the more sensational, sci-fi, philosophical/ethical side of things) alongside more bland/neutral questions.

How do I format answers on Stampy?

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Stampy uses MediaWiki markup, which includes a limited subset of HTML plus the following formatting options:

Items on lists start with *, numbered lists with #

  • For external links use [ followed directly by the URL, a space, then display text and finally a ] symbol
  • For internal links write the page title wrapped in [[]]s
    • e.g. [[What is the Stampy project?]] gives What is the Stampy project?. Including a pipe symbol followed by display text e.g. [[What is the Stampy project?┊Display Text]] allows you to show different Display Text.
  • (ref)Reference notes go inside these tags(/ref)[1]
  • If you post the raw URL of an image from imgur it will be displayed.[2] You can reduce file compression if you get an account. Note that you need the image itself, right click -> copy image address to get it
  • To embed a YouTube video, use (youtube)APsK8NST4qE(/youtube) with the video ID of the target video.
    • Start with ** or ## for double indentation
  • Three 's around text - Bold
  • Two 's around text Italic - Italic
Click show detailed for extra options and advanced usage.
  1. Note that we use ()s rather than the standard <>s for compatibility with Semantic MediaWiki. The references are automatically added to the bottom of the answer!
  2. If images seem popular we'll set up local uploads.
Stampy uses MediaWiki markup, which includes a limited subset of HTML plus the following formatting options:

Items on lists start with *, numbered lists with #

  • For external links use [ followed directly by the URL, a space, then display text and finally a ] symbol
  • For internal links write the page title wrapped in [[]]s
    • e.g. [[What is the Stampy project?]] gives What is the Stampy project?. Including a pipe symbol followed by display text e.g. [[What is the Stampy project?┊Display Text]] allows you to show different Display Text.
  • (ref)Reference notes go inside these tags(/ref)[1]
  • If you post the raw URL of an image from imgur it will be displayed.[2] You can reduce file compression if you get an account. Note that you need the image itself, right click -> copy image address to get it
    I3ylPvE.png
  • To embed a YouTube video, use (youtube)APsK8NST4qE(/youtube) with the video ID of the target video.
    • Start with ** or ## for double indentation
  • Three 's around text - Bold
  • Two 's around text Italic - Italic

Headings

have ==heading here== around them, more =s for smaller headings.

Wrap quotes in < blockquote>< /blockquote> tags (without the spaces)

There are also (poem) (/poem) to suppress linebreak removal, (pre) (/pre) for preformatted text, and (nowiki) (/nowiki) to not have that content parsed.[3]

We can pull live descriptions from the LessWrong/Alignment Forum using their identifier fro the URL, for example including the formatting on Template:TagDesc with orthogonality-thesis as a parameter will render as the full tag description from the LessWrong tag wiki entry on Orthogonality Thesis. Template:TagDescBrief is similar but will pull only the first paragraph without formatting.

For tables please use HTML tables rather than wikicode tables.

Edit this page to see examples.
  1. Note that we use ()s rather than the standard <>s for compatibility with Semantic MediaWiki. The references are automatically added to the bottom of the answer!
  2. If images seem popular we'll set up local uploads.
  3. () can also be used in place of allowed HTML tags. You can escape a () tag by placing a ! inside the start of the first entry. Be aware that () tags only nest up to two layers deep!

What are some good resources on AI alignment?

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What are some specific open tasks on Stampy?

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Other than the usual fare of writing and processing and organizing questions and answers, here are some specific open tasks:

Where can I find all the features of Stampy's Wiki?

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The Editor portal collects them all in one place, or simply click show detailed answer below. Details on how to use each feature are on the individual pages.
The Editor portal collects them all in one place. Details on how to use each feature are on the individual pages.


Get involved


Questions

Answers

Review answers

Improve answers

Recent activity

Pages to create

Content

External

  • Stampy's Public Discord - Ask there for an invite to the real one, until OpenAI approves our chatbot for a public Discord
  • Wiki stats - Graphs over time of active users, edits, pages, response time, etc
  • Google Drive - Folder with Stampy-related documents

UI controls

To-do list

What are some specific open tasks on Stampy? '"`UNIQ--item-653--QINU`"' '"`UNIQ--item-654--QINU`"'

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Other than the usual fare of writing and processing and organizing questions and answers, here are some specific open tasks:

'"`UNIQ--references-0000028F-QINU`"'