Bugs, Features, Development

Keep track of what features are wanted, bugs or problems encountered, or upcoming fixes and changes

Community Lab

Maxwell Hartman

Professor H
Date: 21 November 2019 09:18

Please share your thoughts for features or anything to make our platform better!

You can also access our public Trello board to follow our latest platform development:


We're limited by funding currently with what we can implement, but we'll do our best to fix and implement the critical stuff!

This platform is for you and the us make it the best it can be.

Maxwell Hartman

Professor H
Date: 29 June 2020 17:13

@Florian Lienert thanks for your feedback on the comments not showing up immediately...we are aware of this bug. A page refresh will make your new comment appear, but we know this is annoying and not ideal.

Also, the Task system is very basic at the moment due to budget constraints and need for more user testing and feedback. We apologize that there are multiple copies of the same task in the Tasks pool, but this is currently the only way for multiple users to do the same task at the same time.

Finally, at this moment in time, our Epidemic Response Quest is the only Quest we are 100% focused on...we will return our efforts to building and refining all of our other Quests when we have the time and user base to handle these. Stay tuned!

Florian Lienert

Date: 10 July 2020 06:36

Recently, Reddit user u/throwaway394820130 wrote a great post about his thoughts of humanitrack in the r/Humanitrack subreddit. Unfortunately, he exlusively shared the post on Reddit and not in the Labs here. So, I encourage everyone to head over here to read the post and I will also copy the post here down below:


I recently made an account on humanitrack after it was mentioned in the effectivealtruism community. I would like to share my thoughts on the project, and welcome responses related to my criticism.

I will begin by outlining my positive experiences with the website. I think it is a unique and interesting idea. I always support creations that could be used to challenge students at school who are finding the work to easy. I also believe the idea of chunking up big problems into smaller, more achievable goals is excellent, and has the potential to focus research in a positive way.

I will outline my personal problems with the website now. The first problem is that the website is so hard to navigate to understand what is going on. It never directly tells you the precise goals of the organisation. One quote which you find quite quickly is, " We are an extremely powerful force when we are all united and organized. Humanitrack is creating a home and outlet for these individuals all in order to rapidly accelerate human progress. Humanitrack is not only harnessing all the ideas of these individuals, but sparking countless new ideas and giving them a birthplace to form before being launched into actual projects elsewhere. ". This is cool and inspiring, but is not very helpful to a user who is trying to understand how the website functions. The website looks gorgeous, and the graphic illustrators have done a fantastic job, but it doesn't feel very user friendly. At least, the first page you enter should be a quick, concise explanation of what it is. It took me a while to fully understand the end-games (which are at the very bottom of the webpage in the "about" section) and how quests, challenges and tasks interact. I do not think the introduction helped much either, although I eventually figured things out.

Secondly, I worry humanitrack is trying to do too much for one organisation. There are 8 endgames, and I think there are probably over a million different challenges and tasks you could fit into these things because they are such massive goals. "World peace" is a great example - you could probably list a countless number of things that need to be done to achieve it, not to mention that there would probably be loads of stuff that people disagree on when it comes to it. (e.g. loads of smart people think abolishing private ownership of capital would be a step in the right direction towards world peace, while loads of other smart people think that's the first step towards a dystopian hell). Right now, I think there are 8 or 9 quests in total, when there will need to be hundreds of thousands (at least) to attempt to tackle all the nuances and challenges of the end-goals. I know humanitrack's goal is to add more, but I think maybe saying "ok to trial run this website let's only make quests for 1 specific end-goal, and makes loads of them" might've been a better approach rather than cominh up with lots of end-goals, but then only have 2 or 3 that have any tasks to do on them.

I am also concerned about whether humanitrack in its current form will be able to achieve its goals of pushing along research in a meaningful way. The whole premise is that people - and I think the target audience is supposed to be the millions of students in STEM around the world - are supposed to be discussing and typing up "solutions" to these problems. I wonder whether this will ever happen. I think you could probably lock every physics 1st year university student in the UK in a room for a year, all tell them to only work on problems relating to solid-state batteries and making them work / be more efficient / whatever, and you are unlikely to find anything worthwhile after the year. Maybe that's a bit facetious, but my point is that it seems much more worthwhile to teach students to be smart and solve problems and teach them new science, rather than to say "oh yeah try and solve this problem that professional academics are working on and cannot solve". Some of my friends are about to begin studying physics, engineering and mathematics at some of the top universities in the UK , but I believe there is little hope in trying to make them tackle these huge problems because they don't have enough knowledge yet, even though they're super smart! The sources posted on are interesting but are usually simplified science from mainstream media that can't ever scratch the surface behind the actual forces of what's going on. It seems to me that when academics tackle big socioeconomic and scientific problems, they are focused on technical details and smaller problems in academic journals, which currently the humanitrack resources do not refer to in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, the website needs to decide what it's going to be. Is it going to be a genuine tool for academics to find problems to work on which are really hard but important? Or is it going to be a place where younger / future scientists can learn about stuff on a basic level and foster interest in it, which they can then work on after they have the required knowledge? I don't know, but in it's current form I worry that Humanitrack is well-intentioned and an interesting idea, but lacks enough substance to do well.

As an additional point, if the goal of humanitrack is to become popular amongst EA circles, I think it needs to do a better job at quantifying and explaining the good that it does. I could not find any references to EA ideas in the website at all.

This criticism is well intentioned, and I hope responses to it can explain to me why I'm wrong and why I should be more optimistic about the future of humanitrack! I would love for something like this to succeed and be implemented well - my younger self would've found it great, and I'd still be interested in helping out now. I just worry that, without a clear focus on how the humanitrack project wants to succeed, it could end up failing to do as much good as I think it could.


taken from here:

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