posts

the effects of scale on worst-group performance

I think it’s valuable to be working in the open whenever possible, so I’m going to keep my research notes here. These notes will hopefully be full of good (and bad) ideas, so if someone borrows a good idea and publishes on it, that’s great! This post contains my research notes as I try to understand how model scaling affects worst-group performance. This started as a group project in the neural scaling laws course at Mila in winter 2022.
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learning French

Here I’m going to document my efforts to learn French. I speak Spanish pretty well, which together with English gives me a strong base for comprehension. 2021-08-01: I started using Duolingo every day, and got into the XP challenges to the point where I was getting like hundreds of points most days. I’ve currently (2022-06-01) got 15821 XP and 103 lesson crowns in the French course, and most of that came from Fall 2021.
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WordBurner beta

Update 2022-04-27: The beta is over, but the apk is still installable with the instructions below and any feedback sent from inside the app will be received by me. I’m going to be working on this more over the summer, and eventually publishing it on the app store. :) Ever since learning Spanish, it has been a dream of mine to create a vocabulary study app that meets my needs. Duolingo won’t cover advanced vocabulary, Anki requires manually-generated decks, and other apps have expensive subscription plans.
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ethics drift within bubbles

Here are some snippets from a Lex Fridman interview with John Abramson, outspoken critic of Big Pharma. Lex: Are people corrupt? Are people malevolent? Are people ignorant that work at the low level and at the high level, at Pfizer for example? How is this possible? I believe that most people are good, and I actually believe if you join Big Pharma your life trajectory often involves dreaming, wanting, and enjoying helping people.
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notes about neuroscience

How much of brain structure is coded for in the genome? For example, the hippocampus is generally thought to be responsible for consolidating long-term memories. Is the specialization of this region an epigenetic phenomenon due to optimization in the environment, or is it coded more directly? Will we eventually see these structures emerge in artificial networks with sufficient scale and good optimization, or will we need to code it more directly?
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