Wow cost of living in Ukraine is cheap
As a main organizer in EA Ukraine, I want to focus on community-building.
It is a low-hanging fruit in Ukraine.
As a longtermist and researcher, I want to upskill and focus on x-risks. My main interests are AIS and malevolent actors. I don’t have a strong technical background, but I have a psychology/neuroscience research one. Also, policy is my priority career path, so I aspire to dive deep into AI Governance.
Both these aspirations are curtailed by my responsibilities as a breadwinner.
Now I have to work at an unrelated to EA job, making a living.
With this grant, I might leave my current work and financial stress to focus on these two paths.
Also, I want to move to Berlin as an EA Hub, to connect and engage more with the EA community and more experienced people, to learn from and collaborate with them.
1. I state both paths simultaneously because EA in Ukraine is a fetus.
Until now it wasn’t too working hours-limited. I still can work on it more and don’t do some things I could. But with freed up time I expect to lean against the ceiling. There aren’t many EA members in Ukraine, and they won’t attend many more events than we have now.
So I would state EA in Ukraine is a long game now, and requires continual support, not rushing scale-up.
2. This year I’m beginning my part-time uni studies.
Being a breadwinner and having to work, I neither have time nor money for full-time studies.
Therefore I expect to have time for both projects parallelly. Since EA Ukraine won’t require many working hours, I’ll have time for AIS/x-risk studies and research.
3. I’m not sure whether to focus on AIS or malevolent actors. I’m interested in both, therefore I’m going to explore them for some time, and then choose between them. Possibly, I’ll find an intersection I can work on.
My steps are continuing and patient scaling up what we have now.
It’ll impact by broadening and deepening the EA network in Ukraine and connecting people to the global EA network - jobs, research, policy, current agenda, etc.
Earlier my goal was to create more EA members in Ukraine. Hopefully, it’s not anymore. Now my goal is to deepen our network by providing existing members with connections, opportunities, and advice they need to have more impact.
It’s hard to say if it’s achieved. It’s all about numbers: how many people referred to, talked to, went to, applied to, connected with, considered, fundraised, and published X. It’s complicated, but it can be measured too.
The path to impact lies in multiplying the impact of others in Ukraine (and potentially those outside Ukraine).
I already took “low-hanging fruit” actions I could - in terms of time and money.
E.g. I’ve been reading the Alignment forum and other research; applied to the AISF Governance course and many other opportunities.
On LinkedIn, you can see my “EA track record”. I would say I am an aspiring scholar.
My next steps could become easier with time freed up.
I intend to participate in many opportunities to learn more about AI/x-risk, e.g. ML Safety Sprint Course, “Key Phenomena in AI Risk” reading group, “Reading what we can”, and hopefully, research it. E.g. I’m looking forward to EA Psychology Research Fellowship regarding malevolent actors.
This project may have an impact by providing me with decent expertise in the field to work further, and eventually apply myself to AI Safety.
My project’s goal is to skyrocket my knowledge about AIS/malevolent actors to perform valuable research.
I’ll know if I achieved my goal by answering the next questions:
- Was I accepted to fellowships/programs/jobs I applied to? Have I done well in them?
- Have I published any papers? Have I received an endorsement on it?
My project’s path to impact lies through upskilling in the AIS/malevolent actors, conducting valuable research and potentially getting a position in policy/academia.
$23,750 for 6 months’ salary. Taken as a mean $62,500 annually from $45,000 – $80,000 per year for undergraduates, adjusted to Berlin’s cost of living relatively to SF - 0,76.
31,750*0,76 = 23,750
I'll probably move to Berlin.
Basically, it's for the rent and food and a runway - I'm really frugal.
Honestly, I have a bad track record. Last several years I was depressed, and EA rescued me. So good things about me began only 1 year ago.
Track record regarding this is what we have now in our group:
- Intro Fellowship
- Social events
- Ongoing translations
- Site and soc. Media
My reference “Nina Antonyuk” is regarding this.
I’ve been an outstanding student with olympiads, etc. till the last years of school, and then I fell depressed, and now have nothing to boast about.
But recently I’ve been working for a year as a Research Assistant in Extreme Psychology in my 17. It may indicate my abilities in psychology research, potentially - in malevolent actors. Here my reference is my supervisor “Ewa Szumowska”.
On the other side, I’m really bad at technicalities. I tried to study programming many times, and with sweat, I obtained very humble Data Science with Python/SQL skills. I can’t say I won’t succeed if I try, but for sure I can say - I’m not a technical prodigy.
For more, see my LinkedIn.
Funding me may be counterfactually unproductive
EA Community-building in Ukraine now may be net-negative (though I don't agree with it)
My research may be net-negative
I’d spend it on (1) moving to Berlin as an EA Hub, (2) university fees, and (3) saving a runway.
1. Moving to Berlin. (expect up to $5,000 for initial expenses)
2. Uni fees. Additional £5193 to pay for my university fee and £6924 for each of the next 2 years + 10% buffer. Also, I can pay only for part of the year, that is £1,731. It amounts to £1,731–3,462–5,193…20,425. But I’d benefit from any sum, even much smaller.
3. Based on 80,000 Hours’ recommendation of saving 6-24 months runway, I would benefit from $12-48k, but less amount is helpful too.
I would try EA Funds, OpenPhil funds, and Lightspeed Grants.
I don't think it's likely to get a grant for this, but it's only an intuition.
Without funding I would have less time for community-building and AIS studying, having to make a living.
I would postpone moving to Berlin, leaving it in question.
And I definitely won’t be able to pay my tuition otherwise.
Ewa Szumowska - email@example.com
Nina Antonyuk - firstname.lastname@example.org