Center for Applied Rationality
|Type||Nonprofit research institute|
|Legal status||501(c)(3) tax exempt charity|
|Purpose||Research and training in cognitive science, and de-biasing, to alleviate existential risk from artificial general intelligence|
The Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR) is a nonprofit organization based in Berkeley, California, that hosts workshops on rationality and cognitive bias. It was founded in 2012 by Julia Galef, Anna Salamon, Michael Smith and Andrew Critch, to improve participants' rationality using "a set of techniques from math and decision theory for forming your beliefs about the world as accurately as possible." Its president as of 2021 is Anna Salamon.
CFAR's training draws upon fields such as psychology and behavioral economics in an effort to improve people's mental habits. Jennifer Kahn visited the group and described its strengths and flaws in the New York Times. CFAR has conducted a survey of participants which indicates that workshops reduce neuroticism and increase perceived efficacy.
Sonoma County incident
On 15 November 2019, four people dressed in Guy Fawkes masks were arrested for allegedly barricading off a wooded retreat where CFAR was holding an event. According to police, the suspects were uncooperative and spoke incoherently. Flyers found by deputies suggested they were protesting artificial intelligence and CFAR.
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- "CFAR's new focus, and AI Safety - Less Wrong".
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- Gafni, Mattias (18 November 2019). "Mystery in Sonoma County after arrests of protesters in Guy Fawkes masks and robes". San Francisco Chronicle.