Hi, I’m Daniel Eth [epistemic status: quite certain].
I’m a Senior Research Scholar at this place:
which means I’m currently living somewhere here:
My research focuses on possible future technologies, such as advanced artificial intelligence and atomically precise manufacturing. I’ve published previously on whole brain emulation and potential pathways to advanced AI. You can also watch a 5-minute talk I gave at Effective Altruism Global London 2017 about my research:
I’m currently spending most of my time on a couple of big projects. One is on potentially transformative effects from narrow AI. The other is a larger team project in which we’re attempting to map out the main cruxes of disagreement regarding potential risks from advanced AI, and to elicit expert estimates on these cruxes.
My background is in hard sciences and engineering. I have a BS and an MS from Stanford (Materials Science and Engineering) and a PhD from UCLA (also Materials Science and Engineering), and I’ve worked at Yale (Applied Physics).
My PhD research involved running quantum mechanical computer simulations, with the goal of finding materials that might allow for a particularly robust and scalable form of quantum computing. [In nerdspeak: we used compressive sensing, in combination with density functional theory, to investigate whether various 4d/5d/4f materials could allow for satisfying the Kitaev model and thus potentially enable topological quantum computing.]
On this blog, I write about many topics, including science, technology, futurism, economics, politics, philosophy, etc. Posts often contain talking electrons, molecules that say their own names, and stick figures that, let’s be honest, probably represent the deep inner crevices of my psyche. Ideas on this blog are occasionally not quite as rigorous as my academic work.
The unifying theme of the blog is utilitarianism. Topics are picked so as to maximize the total amount of utility (ie. pleasure, happiness, joy) in the universe.