Our Team

Research Staff

Nate Soares

Nate Soares
Executive Director

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 technical agenda, including the overview document “Agent Foundations for Aligning Superintelligence with Human Interests” (2014) and the AAAI paper “Corrigibility” (2015). Prior to MIRI, Nate worked as a software engineer at Google.

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Eliezer Yudkowsky
Senior Research Fellow

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 implications of AI have had a major impact on ongoing debates in the field, and 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

Benya Fallenstein
Research Fellow

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, Benya 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.

Patrick LaVictoire

Patrick LaVictoire
Research Fellow

Patrick LaVictoire (email) has a background in pure mathematics (BA from the University of Chicago, PhD from UC Berkeley, postdoc at the University of Wisconsin) and applied machine learning / data science (working for the app search startup Quixey). Patrick joined MIRI in March 2015. His research interests include the mathematics of idealized decision theory, logical counterfactuals, principled self-modification, goal stability, and corrigibility.

Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor
Research Fellow

Jessica Taylor (email) is interested in questions related to probabilistic modeling: how to design software agents whose world-models integrate both higher and lower levels of analysis, agents that can reason with logical uncertainty, and ones that can acquire human concepts. She has an MSc in computer science from Stanford, where she studied machine learning and probabilistic programming. Jessica joined MIRI’s team in August 2015.

Andrew Critch

Andrew Critch
Research Fellow

Andrew Critch (email) earned his PhD in mathematics at UC Berkeley studying applications of algebraic geometry to machine learning models. During that time, he cofounded the Center for Applied Rationality and SPARC. Andrew has been offered university faculty positions in mathematics, mathematical biosciences, and philosophy, and he left a position as an algorithmic stock trader at Jane Street Capital to join MIRI in September 2015. His current research interests include logical uncertainty, open source game theory, and avoiding arms race dynamics between nations and companies in AI development.

Scott Garrabrant

Scott Garrabrant
Research Fellow

Scott Garrabrant (email) earned his PhD in mathematics from UCLA studying applications of theoretical computer science to enumerative combinatorics. His primary research area is in logical uncertainty, and specifically in the use of inductive methods to assign probabilities to logical sentences. He is also interested in other aspects of logical uncertainty and counterfactuals. Scott joined MIRI’s team in December 2015.

Katja Grace

Katja Grace
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.

General Staff

Malo Bourgon

Malo Bourgon
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. Malo joined MIRI in 2012 shortly after completing a master’s degree in engineering at the University of Guelph.

Alex Vermeer

Alex Vermeer
Program Management Analyst

Alex Vermeer (email) improves MIRI’s operations and output by measuring useful data, identifying inefficiencies, and improving processes. He also coordinates MIRI’s document production team. Alex holds an Engineering degree from the University of Guelph. Alex joined MIRI in 2012.

Rob Bensinger

Rob Bensinger
Research Communications Manager

Rob Bensinger (email) writes and distributes material on MIRI’s research activities. 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

Aaron Silverbook
Office Manager

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
Communications and Development Strategist

Colm Ó Riain (email) coordinates our 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.

Research Advisors

MIRI’s 2016 Research Advisors are non-staff researchers who
review and contribute to our work.

 

Stuart Russell

Stuart Russell

Professor, UC Berkeley
Author, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
Bart Selman

Bart Selman

Professor, Cornell University
Roman Yampolskiy

Roman Yampolskiy

Professor, University of Louisville
Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom

Professor, University of Oxford
Director, Future of Humanity Institute
Steve Omohundro

Steve Omohundro

PhD, UC Berkeley
President, Self-Aware Systems

General Advisors

MIRI’s 2016 General Advisors correspond with us about our
organizational strategy and operations.

 

Gary Drescher 

 PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  |  Author, Made-Up Minds

Robin Hanson 

 Professor, George Mason University

Jed McCaleb 

 Co-founder, Stellar Development Foundation

Luke Muehlhauser 

 Research Analyst, GiveWell

Christine Peterson 

 Co-founder, Foresight Institute

Liron Shapira 

 Co-founder & CTO, Quixey

Jaan Tallinn 

 Co-founder, Skype

Max Tegmark 

 Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  |  Co-founder, Future of Life Institute

Research Associates

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.

 

Stuart Armstrong 

 PhD Mathematics, Oxford  |  Research Fellow, Future of Humanity Institute

Tsvi Benson-Tilsen 

 PhD student, Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley

Abram Demski 

 PhD student, Computer Science, University of Southern California

Vadim Kosoy 

 BSc Mathematics, Tel Aviv University  |  Algorithm Engineer, Epicycle Technologies

Ramana Kumar 

 PhD Computer Science, Cambridge  |  Researcher, Data61 (CSIRO) and UNSW, Australia

Notable Contributors

Notable Contributors have worked extensively with MIRI in the past,
or are in other ways contributing to our current research.

 

Mihály Bárász 

 MSc Mathematics, Eötvös Loránd University

Marcello Herreshoff 

 BA Mathematics, Stanford University

Bill Hibbard 

 PhD Computer Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison  |  Senior Scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center

Nisan Stiennon 

 PhD Mathematics  |  Google

Nathaniel Thomas 

 PhD student, Stanford University

Board

 

Edwin Evans CHAIR

 Cofounder, Linc Global

Matthew Fallshaw DIRECTOR

 Founder, TrikeApps

Anna Salamon DIRECTOR

 Executive Director, Center for Applied Rationality

Nate Soares DIRECTOR

 Executive Director, Machine Intelligence Research Institute

Eliezer Yudkowsky DIRECTOR

 Senior Research Fellow, Machine Intelligence Research Institute