The COVID crisis was a competence test for organizations.

  • Amazon delivered billions of packages in 2020, while the US government struggled to send millions of checks.
  • Doordash had over 99.9% uptime, while local governments flip-flopped on restaurant closures.
  • Moderna delivered 94% effective vaccine doses in 2020, while Johnson and Johnson delayed until 2021 to deliver a dose with 66% efficacy.

Balaji traces a common thread: the organizations led by their founders prospered while the rest mostly floundered.

Why? Because the latter inherited organizations exist in a read-only state. Meaning they work fine, until a change of operational landscape demands adaptation…

Saliency maps have been getting a lot of attention lately. They are a popular visualization tool for gaining insight into why a deep learning model made an individual decision, such as classifying an image. Major papers such as Dueling DQN and adversarial examples for CNNs use saliency maps in order to convey where their models are focusing their attention.

Saliency maps¹ are usually rendered as a heatmap (see: map), where hotness corresponds to regions that have a big impact on the model’s final decision (see: saliency). …

Living in San Francisco, I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of people who have told me they wanted to blog more.

Regular blogging is another item in the pile of should-dos with healthy diet, consistent exercise, and limited social media use.

How can I fight the force that stops me from blogging more? After all, I have a list of topics that might make good posts. There are people who, by some power, push through.

How does someone who blogs regularly approach public writing?

This was a question I posed to Paul Christiano during a talk of his on AI Alignment that I moderated last Thursday. Paul is one of the most prolific writers in the AI Safety community: he blogs…

SpaceX Falcon Heavy static fire test

Aligned Artificial General Intelligence will be the most sophisticated system humanity has ever attempted to build. We know of many ways that such an attempt may fail. And yet, this is not humanity’s first rodeo. From landing a space shuttle on the moon to building cathedrals that stand tall for hundreds of years, our scientists, architects, and engineers have occasionally found overwhelming success at tasks that once seemed impossible.

A seemingly well-designed rocket can explode in more ways than we can count, but we’ve figured out a way to catch a majority of failures before launch: tests. …

LunarLander-V1 environment

OpenAI Gym is a toolkit for testing reinforcement learning algorithms. Gym is fun and powerful, but installation can be a challenge. This post will give you a one-line command to install Gym on any modern Mac, reducing your setup time to minutes.

To get started, open up terminal and run the below command to download and run the setup script:

bash <(curl -Ls

That’s it! The script will take a few minutes to interactively install Gym and it’s dependencies as seen below.

Check out the source code

How It Works

[Step 1] Homebrew — MacOS Package manager

We use Homebrew to install Gym’s system-level dependencies. Homebrew downloads packages to…

Earnest recently released its first iOS app. Below I share some details of how we engineered it.


Nibs and storyboards can’t seem to get along.

Imagine an iOS app that uses a storyboard for laying out view controllers. At some point you want to make a UIView subclass called MyView, implement its layout with a nib, and have it appear in a view controller in your storyboard. After creating MyView, you drag a UIView object into a view controller, and change the UIView’s class to MyView. ‘Done!’ you think to yourself. You run your app expecting to see the fruits of your labor, but instead you just see blank space.

The issue is that the storyboard ignores…

Andrew Schreiber

AI Alignment

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