What are Encultured working on?
Encultured are making a multiplayer online video game as a test environment for AI: an aligned AI should be able to play the game without ruining the fun or doing something obviously destructive like completely taking over the world, even if it has this capabilities. This seems roughly analogous to setting an AGI loose on the real world.
Motivation: Andrew Critch is primarily concerned about a multipolar AI scenario: there are multiple actors with comparably powerful AI, on the cusp of recursive self improvement. The worst case is a race, and even though each actor would want to take more time checking their AGI for safety, worry that another actor will deploy will push each actor to take shortcuts and try to pull off a world-saving act. Instead of working directly on AI, which can accelerate timelines and encourage racing, creating this standardized test environment where alignment failures are observable is one component of a good global outcome.
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