Nate Soares heads MIRI’s research program. He first joined MIRI in 2014 as a research fellow, quickly earning a strong reputation for his strategic insight and high productivity. Nate is the primary author of most of MIRI’s agent foundations technical agenda, including the overview document “Agent Foundations for Aligning Superintelligence with Human Interests” (2014) and “Corrigibility” (2015). Prior to MIRI, Nate worked as a software engineer at Google.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (email) is a decision theorist who is widely cited for his writings on the long-term future of artificial intelligence. His views on the social and philosophical significance of AI have had a major impact on ongoing debates in the field, and as MIRI’s senior research fellow, his work in mathematical logic has heavily shaped MIRI’s research agenda. He is the author of the Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence chapter “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” with Nick Bostrom (2014), and has written a number of popular introductions to the science of human rationality.
Benya Fallenstein (email) works on basic theoretical questions raised by the challenge of aligning advanced AI systems with human goals. These include decision- and game-theoretic problems that arise when artificial agents reason about future versions of themselves or about other, similarly powerful agents in their environment. Since joining the research team in 2014, she has spent time developing models of logical uncertainty (uncertainty about which mathematical statements are true), self-reference in higher-order theorem-proving systems, and the specification of safe AI goals. Benya holds a Bachelors in Mathematics from the University of Vienna.
Scott Garrabrant (email) earned his PhD in mathematics from UCLA studying applications of theoretical computer science to enumerative combinatorics. His main research area is in logical uncertainty, and he is the primary author of “Logical Induction” (2016), a highly general method for assigning probabilities to logical sentences. He is also interested in other aspects of logical uncertainty and counterfactuals. Scott joined MIRI’s team in December 2015.
Marcello Herreshoff (email) studied at Stanford, gaining a B.S. in Mathematics with Honors and two honorable mentions in the Putnam Mathematical Competition. He then spent five years as a software engineer at Google, where he gained a background in machine learning, before joining MIRI’s team in April 2017. His research interests include logical uncertainty and the design of reflective agents. Marcello has also worked with MIRI in the past to help produce results such as “Robust Cooperation in the Prisoner’s Dilemma: Program Equilibrium via Provability Logic” (2014).
Sam Eisenstat (email) works on questions relating to the foundations of reasoning and agency. He studied pure mathematics at the University of Waterloo, where he carried out research in mathematical logic. Before joining MIRI in April 2017, he worked on automatic construction of deep learning models at Google. He currently works on logical uncertainty, and in particular is exploring analogies between current theories of logical uncertainty and Bayesian reasoning. He has also done work on decision theory and counterfactuals.
Abram Demski (email), who joined MIRI in July 2017, is currently completing a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. His research to date has focused on cognitive architectures and artificial general intelligence. He is interested in filling in the gaps that exist in formal theories of rationality, especially those concerned with what humans are doing when reasoning semi-formally about mathematics.
Jesse Liptrap (email) joined MIRI in August 2017 after spending four years as a software engineer at Google, working on the Knowledge Graph. Previously he worked as a bioinformatician at UC Berkeley. He holds a BS in math from Caltech and a PhD in math from UC Santa Barbara, where he studied category-theoretic underpinnings of topological quantum computing.
Nick Tarleton (email) joined MIRI in November 2017 after several years as lead architect at the search startup Quixey. He previously worked with MIRI in the first iteration of its summer fellows program, studying consequences of proposed goal systems for advanced AI. Nick studied computer science and decision science at Carnegie Mellon University.
Tsvi Benson-Tilsen (email) works on the foundations of rational agency, including logical uncertainty, logical counterfactuals, and reflectively stable decision making, as well as other questions of AI alignment. Before joining MIRI as a full-time researcher, he collaborated on “Logical Induction”. Tsvi holds a BSc in Mathematics with honors from the University of Chicago, and is on leave from the UC Berkeley Group in Logic and the Methodology of Science PhD program. Tsvi joined MIRI in June 2017.
Researcher, AI Impacts
Katja Grace (email) contributes to AI Impacts, an independent research project focused on social and historical questions related to artificial intelligence outcomes. Her analyses include “Algorithmic Progress in Six Domains” (2013). She writes the blog Meteuphoric, and is sometimes a PhD student in Logic, Computation, and Methodology at Carnegie Mellon University. Katja joined MIRI in February 2014.
Chief Operating Officer
Malo Bourgon (email) oversees MIRI’s day-to-day operations and program activities. Before becoming COO, Malo worked for MIRI as a program management analyst, helping implement many of MIRI’s current systems, processes, and program activities. He also co-chairs the committee on the Safety and Beneficence of Artificial General Intelligence and Artificial Superintelligence of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. Malo joined MIRI in 2012 shortly after completing a master’s degree in engineering at the University of Guelph.
Process and Projects
Alex Vermeer (email) improves the processes and systems within and surrounding MIRI’s research team and research programs. This includes increasing the quality and quantity of workshops and similar programs, implementing best practices within the research team, coordinating the technical publication and researcher recruiting pipelines, and other research support projects. Alex holds an engineering degree from the University of Guelph, and joined MIRI in 2012.
Rob Bensinger (email) helps communicate news and background concerning MIRI’s research activities and strategy. His background is in the study of scientific and religious communities, and his research interests include value theory and the relationship between philosophy and psychology. Rob joined MIRI in November 2013.
Aaron Silverbook (email) manages MIRI’s work environment. He focuses on developing, maintaining, and improving the “behind-the-scenes” systems that make the organization run like a well-oiled machine. Aaron joined MIRI in July 2016.
Colm Ó Riain
Colm Ó Riain (email) coordinates hiring and philanthropic strategy to support MIRI’s growth plans. After 15 years working in the video game industry at companies including Electronic Arts and Activision, he moved into philanthropy work at Zynga.org and Music Team before joining MIRI in July 2016. He has a master’s degree in AI from the University of Rochester and a joint honours bachelor’s in Mathematics and Computer Science. Colm is also a professional violinist and composer.
Matthew Graves (email) writes technical material to support MIRI’s research activities. His research interests are in system design, decision-making, and machine learning. He has a master’s degree in Operations Research and worked as a data scientist at Indeed before joining MIRI in October 2016.
Carson Jones (email) manages the MIRI offices and optimizes day-to-day processes. He is responsible for food inventory, catering, the cleanliness and maintenance of MIRI’s office space, and for generally improving the experience of MIRI’s staff and guests. His background includes a wide range of occupations, including retail customer service, prep cook, and administrative assistant. Carson joined MIRI in June of 2018.
Jimmy Rintjema (email) manages MIRI’s digital infrastructure, ensuring that websites, software tools, and systems are running smoothly. He also provides publishing support to the research and communications teams. Jimmy joined MIRI in 2014 and works remotely in Ontario, Canada.
MIRI’s 2018 research advisors are non-staff researchers who
review and contribute to our work.
Nick BostromProfessor, University of Oxford
Director, Future of Humanity Institute
Jan LeikeResearch Scientist, Google DeepMind
Steve OmohundroPhD, UC Berkeley
President, Self-Aware Systems
Stuart RussellProfessor, UC Berkeley
Director, Center for Human-Compatible AI
Author, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
Bart SelmanProfessor, Cornell University
MIRI’s 2018 general advisors correspond with us about our
organizational strategy and operations.
Blake BorgesonCofounder, Recursion Pharmaceuticals
Andrew CritchResearch Scientist, UC Berkeley
Gary DrescherPhD, MIT | Author, Made-Up Minds
Robin HansonProfessor, George Mason University
Jed McCalebCofounder, Stellar Development Foundation
Luke MuehlhauserResearch Analyst, Open Philanthropy Project
Christine PetersonCofounder, Foresight Institute
Jaan TallinnCofounder, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
MIRI research associates, while primarily supported by other institutions, are active, paid,
non-staff researchers that work on projects related to MIRI’s technical agenda.
Edwin Evans CHAIRCofounder, Linc Global
Matthew Fallshaw DIRECTORFounder, TrikeApps
Anna Salamon DIRECTORPresident, Center for Applied Rationality
Nate Soares DIRECTORExecutive Director, Machine Intelligence Research Institute
Eliezer Yudkowsky DIRECTORSenior Research Fellow, Machine Intelligence Research Institute