MSFP 2019 participant application
This form is for individuals interested in attending the 2019 MIRI Summer Fellows Program, which takes place August 9-24 in Bodega Bay, California. The deadline for application is 23:59 PDT, March 31. You may be asked to participate in 1-2 Skype (or similar) interviews as a supplement to this form.

Note that the goal of this form is for us to get an overall sense of you as a person and as a thinker. Many questions are not required—the more you answer, the easier it is for us to get a feel for you, but it's fine if you don't answer everything.

Email address *
Please mark "yes" to confirm that your schedule and other goals/constraints would allow you to be physically present and non-distracted for the entire duration of the program, if invited — we provide food and lodging and can sometimes assist with travel expenses. *
Your name *
Your answer
Briefly describe your technical background in mathematics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, programming, philosophy, etc. (education, employment, awards, areas of competence or expertise). *
Your answer
Briefly describe your research interests (both those related to artificial intelligence/AI alignment/agent foundations and others).
Your answer
Briefly describe a time you were wrong.
Your answer
Much of the value of MSFP comes from constructive intellectual disagreement, and from the collision of a wide range of perspectives and ideas. Briefly summarize a technical claim you've encountered and disagreed with (or at least found confusing/underjustified), and outline the seed of your disagreement. (A non-exhaustive list of people who might have published such a claim: Owain Evans, Stuart Russell, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Paul Christiano, Stuart Armstrong, Laurent Orseau, Scott Garrabrant, Dylan Hadfield-Menell, Rohin Shah). Note that we're looking more for how you reason and what catches your interest in a technical sense than for any sort of political statement.
Your answer
Briefly explain "embedded agency" as you would if trying to convey the concept to a bright middle schooler.
Your answer
Suppose that the universe is spatially infinite, and that you and infinitely many other beings each flip a coin. Infinitely many beings like you see heads, infinitely many see tails, and infinitely many see that coin land on its side. Therefore, in a spatially infinite universe, you have a 1/3 chance of seeing your coin land on its side. Is there anything wrong with this reasoning, and if so, what?
Your answer
You are offered a large bag containing two identical smaller bags. One small bag has two red marbles, and the other has three blue marbles and one red marble. You first draw out a small bag and take a marble from the bag (in such a way as to be unable to tell how many marbles it contained in the first place). The marble you drew is red. Now, you draw a second marble from the same bag. What is the probability that it will also be red? Briefly describe your reasoning.
Your answer
Is there anything else you think we should know about you as we consider your application?
Your answer
Please indicate if you expect to need financial aid to help with travel expenses *
Please select ALL interview windows below that are >80% likely to work for you, given a few days' notice. We may ask to interview you 1-2 times using Skype (or similar) sometime between March 25 and April 15; if so, we will use the email address you provided above to contact you. *
Sometimes, MIRI helps other organizations working on existential risk to identify candidates for their new job openings. Please indicate whether you wish your name and email address to be among those we might share with the Open Philanthropy Project and the Future of Humanity Institute. None of your other inputs above will be shared with these organizations.
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