Software Engineer Internship / Staff Openings

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The Machine Intelligence Research Institute is looking for highly capable software engineers to directly support our AI alignment research efforts, with a focus on projects related to machine learning. We’re seeking engineers with strong programming skills who are passionate about MIRI’s mission and looking for challenging and intellectually engaging work.

While our goal is to hire full-time, we are initially looking for paid interns. Successful internships may then transition into staff positions.

About the Internship Program

The start time for interns is flexible, but we’re aiming for May or June. We will likely run several batches of internships, so if you are interested but unable to start in the next few months, do still apply. The length of the internship is flexible, but we’re aiming for 2–3 months.

Examples of the kinds of work you’ll do during the internship:

  • Replicate recent machine learning papers, and implement variations.
  • Learn about and implement machine learning tools (including results in the fields of deep learning, convex optimization, etc.).
  • Run various coding experiments and projects, either independently or in small groups.
  • Rapidly prototype, implement, and test AI alignment ideas related to machine learning (after demonstrating successes in the above points).

For MIRI, the benefit of this program is that it’s a great way to get to know you and assess you for a potential hire. For applicants, the benefits are that this is an excellent opportunity to get your hands dirty and level up your machine learning skills, and to get to the cutting edge of the AI safety field, with a potential to stay in a full-time engineering role after the internship concludes.

Our goal is to trial many more people than we expect to hire, so our threshold for keeping on engineers long-term as full staff will be higher than for accepting applicants to our internship.

The Ideal Candidate

Some qualities of the ideal candidate:

  • Extensive breadth and depth of programming skills. Machine learning experience is not required, though it is a plus.
  • Highly familiar with basic ideas related to AI alignment.
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision, and in team/group settings.
  • Willing to accept a below-market rate. Since MIRI is a non-profit, we can’t compete with the Big Names in the Bay Area.
  • Enthusiastic about the prospect of working at MIRI and helping advance the field of AI alignment.
  • Not looking for a “generic” software engineering position.

Working at MIRI

We strive to make working at MIRI a rewarding experience.

  • Modern Work Spaces — Many of us have adjustable standing desks with large external monitors. We consider workspace ergonomics important, and try to rig up work stations to be as comfortable as possible. Free snacks, drinks, and meals are also provided at our office.
  • Flexible Hours — We don’t have strict office hours, and we don’t limit employees’ vacation days. Our goal is to make rapid progress on our research agenda, and we would prefer that staff take a day off than that they extend tasks to fill an extra day.
  • Living in the Bay Area — MIRI’s office is located in downtown Berkeley, California. From our office, you’re a 30-second walk to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), which can get you around the Bay Area; a 3-minute walk to UC Berkeley campus; and a 30-minute BART ride to downtown San Francisco.

EEO & Employment Eligibility

MIRI is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to making employment decisions based on merit and value. This commitment includes complying with all federal, state, and local laws. We desire to maintain a work environment free of harassment or discrimination due to sex, race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, citizenship, physical or mental disability, marital status, familial status, ethnicity, ancestry, status as a victim of domestic violence, age, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws.


If interested, click here to apply. For questions or comments, email

Update (December 2017): We’re now putting less emphasis on finding interns and looking for highly skilled engineers available for full-time work. Updated job post here.