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EA-aligned news curation service - prototype online

Actually Relevant is a news curation service that evaluates stories based on how relevant they are for humanity and its long-term future. The website is a first prototype. I hope that Actually Relevant will promote EA causes and perspectives to more people, and that it will free EA-aligned readers from the headaches of irrelevant news.

I'm looking for

  • feedback What do you like? How can we improve?
  • interview partners 15 minutes to understand how you read the news and what you want to get out of your news consumption
  • partners in crime Let me know if you want to get involved

This story on the frontpage was rating a conservative 4/5 for importance, which your style guide says means

Major: affecting >1bn people in a significant way, having major implications for social, political, economic, or legal norms and systems on an international level, or representing important scientific or technological progress in an important area

But the article text only that it directly affects "Over 70,000" people. There are also some speculative comments that this could lead to a general "reevaluation of international legal norms and systems around land rights", but this seems quite unlikely to me. I would expect that you could write multiple stories a year about similar occurrences.

Thanks so much for taking a deeper look at one of the articles! I think you're right: a somewhat lower rating seems more appropriate in this case.

I believe that two things are true for the algorithm behind Actually Relevant: 1) almost all posts are more important for humanity than 90% of news articles by other outlets. In that sense, it's already useful. 2) Many relevance analyses are still off by at least one grade on the rating scale, meaning that some posts get a "major" or "critical" tag that should not get it. The idea is to use community and expert feedback to finetune the prompts to get even better results in the future. I also want to involve a human editor who could double check and adjust dubious cases.

In the post you referenced, the AI says: "The eviction has affected over 70,000 people and risks cultural extinction for the Maasai people. It also highlights the need for a reevaluation of international legal norms and systems around land rights. In certain scenarios, this situation could lead to a broader movement for indigenous land rights in Tanzania and beyond, making it an issue that is far more relevant for humanity than the number of directly affected people would suggest." I think it's a good sign that the algorithm realized that the extinction of an entire culture and developments around indiginous land rights should lead to a higher rating than the number of directly affected people would suggest. It might still be off in this case, but I'm optimistic that additional finetuning can get us there.

Looking for partners in crime to explore a "scope sensitive news provider"

I would like to find out if there is a market for a news provider that selects stories based on how much they matter to sentient life in the universe.[1] Specifically, I would like to run a few experiments following the Lean Startup approach, like pretending that the service already exists to see how many people would subscribe.

Please reach out

  • if you want to be involved in this exploration,
  • if you would pay for scope sensitive news, or
  • if you have ideas that you think we should consider in the exploration or in the prototypes.
  1. ^

    I took this idea more seriously when I read the post "What happens on the average day". rosehadshar mention "scope sensitivity" as their first criterion for an ideal news provider and define it as "a serious, good faith attempt to tell the stories that matter most to the most sentient life."

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