Hi, I’m Nearcyan, a male in my 20s male living in Austin, Texas. I love talking about, creating things in, and learning about a variety of topics including machine learning/AI, software engineering, web development, information security, digital privacy, decentralized systems, cryptocurrencies and finance, rationality and incentive structures, music and music theory, Japanese culture and anime, and many others. As 2021 I now spend the vast majority of my time in machine learning and artificial intelligence (and occasionally longevity) and their applications to end-users as I believe this field will have, by far, the largest impact on the lives of others in the near-future.
If you think we’d get along well, seriously consider reaching out to me about anything. I love discussing ideas, learning new things, and creating things, regardless of if those things are software projects, music, literature, or anything else more esoteric. Feel free to chat with me about anything at all via Twitter, email (first letter of the English alphabet @ this domain), Discord (near0cyan#4603, remove the ‘0’), or IRC (currently unlisted).
I run various websites on the Internet, with the most recent and popular being ThisAnimeDoesNotExist, a website showcasing state-of-the-art AI-generated images drawn in an anime style. The last service I made before that was Tagmap (a website to help people meet others near them that share the same Internet communities with >10,000 users), webm.red (a dead-simple webm host with >50,000 videos), and this website, NearCyan (a concise personal website and part-time blog). Other websites include my current project, Koe.ai (launching soon tm, or eventually..), a real-time voice-cloning startup, and autogen.ai (not yet up), a curated list of services that let users directly interact with powerful AI models. I have about 10 other websites, most of which are small personal domains or services that I run.
If you want to read some of my recent writing on this website (which I sadly rarely have time to do more of), consider reading my Supplements page on the long list of longevity supplements and drugs I take, my Against ReCaptcha page that discusses the many downsides of Google’s ReCaptcha with alternatives and best practices, or my Fact Checking Is Really Hard page for a slightly more political post that attempts to explain why fact checking is a much more difficult problem than many assume.
More personal information
I love music and play many instruments, with my favorite currently being piano and my past favorites having been 8-string guitar and drums. My favorite genres of music are artcore (examples: Xi, An), symphonic video game music (examples: FFXIV OST, Nier:Automata OST), progressive, instrumental, melodic, and djent metal (examples: Animals as Leaders, Uneven Structure, Undead Corporation, Arch Enemy), and Japanese/Weeaboo (examples: Touhou remixes, anime OP/EDs). My favorite games have been various MMOs such as FFXIV, strategy games such as AoE II, and as of recently, Beatsaber.
I’m generally self-employed and self-directed, with my income coming from various sources such as independent projects, freelancing, failed startups (half joking), and such. I’ve spent a lot of time in infosec, cryptocurrencies, machine learning, web development, and research in various topics.
I spend a large fraction of my time reading and socializing on the Internet. I enjoy link aggregators like HackerNews, blogs like ACX/SSC, Scott Aaronson, Robin Hanson, FantasticAnachronism (many many others), news letters like Matt Levine‘s and Gwern‘s, various Twitter+Discord+Reddit communities, and probably 20-50 other personal websites and blogs which I’d like to write a post about some time. I enjoy learning new things and sometimes put time into playing instruments, writing, practicing Japanese, excising, meditating, and others.
As of 2021, I’m currently spending most of my time immersed in ML/AI research and its applications to users, including working on Koe, anime generation, and and closely watching the progress of many amazing individuals and groups in the field, with a lot of exciting plans for the future.
Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence
I think machine learning (sometimes referred to as artificial intelligence) is likely to have an absurdly large impact on our species over the next few decades. After working in the field only briefly I decided to make it my primary area of interest and work until further notice and updated my timeline for when I think humanity will achieve AGI from my previous range of ’40-100+’ years to ‘~10-50’ years (although this is obviously a very rough range and impossible to predict). Concordantly, after having been indecisive for many years, I now think that AI alignment is probably the most important problem we can work on, and the largest existential risk.
I don’t currently work on alignment myself, but I think spreading awareness of it is a good thing. My current focus is on moving ML projects from the research stage to the product stage, mostly because I think we’re doing a terrible job at that right now, and I would like people to be able to have more fair and broad access to all of the amazing things we’re already capable of. I predict that over the next decade people realize how crazy things are actually going to get.
I’m interested in optimizing human diet and lifestyle for longevity. I think it’s possible for the majority of us to live mostly-healthy lives to an age of 90-110+, although we face greatly adversarial environments that make this much more challenging than it should be. There are, in my opinion, already many substances that will slow aging down by as much as 5-15% in humans, even if we currently lack the rigorous level of evidence we’d prefer to have to state this with confidence. I don’t personally focus on optimizing my athletic performance, but rather on trying to make optimizations and tweaks that have a good chance of notably extending my life span. I think we can already extend human lifespan, on average, by several decades, and that it’s quite likely this will significantly improve in the near future. I would say longevity is perhaps the second most important field I can think of behind machine learning. Although I can’t spend anywhere close to the amount of time I’d like to researching and experimenting with it, reading my supplements page (including the bottom list) will give you part of how my interest in this area affects my life.
Software Engineering, Linux, etc
I use Linux as my primary operating system (generally Manjaro, Arch, and Ubuntu Server) and spend quite a bit of time writing software in various languages (most recent: Python, Laravel/PHP, SQL, HTML/JS/CS). I’m a big fan of FOSS and computing environments that truly empower users, rather than just give an illusion of power like most modern platforms, services, and devices. Similarly I love encryption, decentralization, and anything that helps people express themselves and form their own groups of like-minded individuals to enjoy life with.
The primary goal of this website is for me to talk about myself enough such that I can find more people to do things with, whether that is discussing our interests, becoming friends, or creating things together. As a secondary goal I’d like to help share and inform people about things that i think about, work on, and come across. I would enjoy blogging full-time, but I think I’m likely better off working on other things, and will instead leave blogging to those that are a better match (and who have more time) for it.
If you’d like to chat, check out the contact section above and please reach out to me. I don’t bite, usually!