ML Living Library Opening

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Update Jan. 2021: We’re no longer seeking applications for this position.

The Machine Intelligence Research Institute is looking for a very specialized autodidact to keep us up to date on developments in machine learning—a “living library” of new results.

ML is a fast-moving and diverse field, making it a challenge for any group to stay updated on all the latest and greatest developments. To support our AI alignment research efforts, we want to hire someone to read every interesting-looking paper about AI and machine learning, and keep us abreast of noteworthy developments, including new techniques and insights.

We expect that this will sound like a very fun job to a lot of people! However, this role is important to us, and we need to be appropriately discerning—we do not recommend applying if you do not already have a proven ability in this or neighboring domains.

Our goal is to hire full-time, ideally for someone who would be capable of making a multi-year commitment—we intend to pay you to become an expert on the cutting edge of machine learning, and don’t want to make the human capital investment unless you’re interested in working with us long-term.


About the Role

We’d like to fill this position as soon as we find the right candidate. Our hiring process tends to involve a lot of sample tasks and probationary hires, so if you are interested, we encourage you to apply early.

This is a new position for a kind of work that isn’t standard. Although we hope to find someone who can walk in off the street and perform well, we’re also interested in candidates who think they might take three months of training to meet the requirements.

Examples of the kinds of work you’ll do:

  • Read through archives and journals to get a sense of literally every significant development in the field, past and present.
  • Track general trends in the ML space—e.g., “Wow, there sure is a lot of progress being made on Dota 2!”—and let us know about them.
  • Help an engineer figure out why their code isn’t working—e.g., “Oh, you forgot the pooling layer in your convolutional neural network.”
  • Answer/research MIRI staff questions about ML techniques or the history of the field.
  • Share important developments proactively; researchers who haven’t read the same papers as you often won’t know the right questions to ask unprompted!


The Ideal Candidate

Some qualities of the ideal candidate:

  • Extensive breadth and depth of machine learning knowledge, including the underlying math.
  • Familiarity with ideas related to AI alignment.
  • Delight at the thought of getting paid to Know All The Things.
  • Programming capability—for example, you’ve replicated some ML papers.
  • Ability to deeply understand and crisply communicate ideas. Someone who just recites symbols to our team without understanding them isn’t much better than a web scraper.
  • Enthusiasm about the prospect of working at MIRI and helping advance the field’s understanding of AI alignment.
  • Residence in (or willingness to move to) the Bay Area. This job requires high-bandwidth communication with the research team, and won’t work as a remote position.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and also to work in team/group settings.


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 workstations 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 rather than 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 Buck (