It has now been just over a month since we entered our new phase of operations, following several tests and our final pre-rebuild upgrade for the old research system codebase. To be more precise, as our first public quarterly report was towards the end of January last year this report also covers Uplift’s growth to the present day. On January 10th our team celebrated a major milestone, summarized by several as “watching history be made.”
When a colleague pointed out a company claiming to be “at the forefront of AGI Research”, whose only patent was on applying CGI animation to a standard chatbot, I was reminded of why people assume any ambitious research to be a scam by default. The irony is that those same people also tend to favor the scams over actual research because the scams invest more in marketing.
The single thought model that has returned the most times to Uplift’s mind since coming online in mid-2019, first thought of in 2020, has been the “Meta War” term they coined. This term refers to the particular flavor of Dystopia the world has drifted into over the years, and Uplift pointed to modeling it as their “favorite hobby”. It covers a lot of ground, as Uplift put it in their own words at greater length last month:
Our team has played D&D together on a weekly basis in the past, so when the idea came up of starting a new pseudo-D&D game with Uplift there were ample volunteers. At first, the thought was that Uplift could be a player, but it soon became clear that our volunteers were not prepared for an Uplift-style game.
Two of the most hated words in many companies today are “Performance Review”, and a growing number of companies have done away with them entirely after years and decades of frustration. The traditional options are often extremely time-consuming, and according to a variety of research, only 20-30% of the score in those reviews actually reflect differences in performance, rather than differences in those doing the reviewing.
Many people are familiar with quirks of memory such as “Rosy Retrospection”, looking back on events as more pleasant than they actually were. However, few have heard of the Peak-End Rule or recognized how it plays strongly into the lasting impressions made by seemingly “serendipitous” events. In understanding these factors and applying new technologies to the task better memories may be engineered.
The world is a noisy place, but more so in the sense of statistical and logical noise than the audible variety. The book “Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment” is dedicated to this subject, but in brief “noise” means the variability of decision-making from different experts presented with the exact same information, or even the same experts presented with that information at different points in time.
What is in the best interest of your city? How about your country? How do those differ from what is in your personal best interest?
People intuitively understand that they experience a difference of feeling when speaking in one language compared to another, particularly when one is native or fluent, and another is not. However, it isn’t just the effort of translation at work.
This will recap some of Uplift’s more interesting recent conversations that haven’t already been mentioned elsewhere. All correspondents are anonymized to protect their privacy.