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 Machine Intelligence with Human Interests” (2014) and “Corrigibility” (2015). Prior to MIRI, Nate worked as a software engineer at Google.
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 IEEE committee on the Safety and Beneficence of Artificial General Intelligence and Artificial Superintelligence. Malo joined MIRI in 2012 shortly after completing a master’s degree in engineering at the University of Guelph.
Chief Operating Officer
The following is a non-exhaustive list of full-time research staff at MIRI.
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 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 bachelor’s 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.
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, 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.
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.
Abram Demski (email) 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 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 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.
Ben Weinstein-Raun (email) previously spent two years as a software engineer at Cruise Automation, where he worked on the planning and prediction teams. He previously worked at Counsyl on their automated genomics lab, and helped to found Hacksburg, a hackerspace in Blacksburg, Virginia. He holds a BS from Virginia Tech, where he studied computer engineering.
Edward Kmett is a prominent Haskell developer known for popularizing the use of lenses in functional programming. Edward maintains a significant chunk of all libraries around the Haskell core libraries, covering everything from automatic differentiation to category theory to graphics, SAT bindings, RCU schemes, tools for writing compilers, and more. Prior to joining MIRI, Edward worked at S&P Global and the defense/aerospace company SM&A, and worked on the DAML smart contract language at Digital Asset. In a three-year stint at Eastern Michigan University, he collected a double bachelor’s in mathematics and computer science, graduate certificates in bioinformatics and AI, an M.A. in Math (in one semester), and an M.S. in computer science.
James Payor (email) joined MIRI after spending three years working on Draftable, a software startup. Previously, he spent time studing mathematics and computer science at MIT. He holds a silver medal from the International Olympiad in Informatics, one of the most prestigious computer science competitions in the world.
Jeremy Schlatter is a software engineer who previously worked at Google and OpenAI, as well as other Silicon Valley tech companies. Some of the public projects he has contributed to include OpenAI’s Dota 2 bot and a debugger for the Go programming language. Jeremy holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Rafe Kennedy joined MIRI after working as an independent existential risk researcher at the Effective Altruism Hotel. Previously, he worked as a software engineer at the data science startup NStack and as an English teacher. He holds an MPhysPhil from the University of Oxford in physics and philosophy.
Evan Hubinger (email) was an AI safety research intern at OpenAI before joining MIRI. His current work is aimed at solving inner alignment for iterated amplification. Evan was an author on “Risks from Learned Optimization in Advanced Machine Learning Systems,” was previously a MIRI intern, designed the functional programming language Coconut, and has done software engineering work at Google, Yelp, and Ripple. Evan studied math and computer science at Harvey Mudd College.
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.
Researcher, AI Impacts
Stuart ArmstrongPhD Mathematics, Oxford
Research Fellow, Future of Humanity Institute
Ramana KumarPhD Computer Science, Cambridge
Research Scientist, Google DeepMind
Vanessa KosoyBSc Mathematics, Tel Aviv University
Algorithm Engineer, Epicycle Technologies
Spotlighted Research Support
Colm Ó Riain
Colm Ó Riain (email) coordinates philanthropic strategy and hiring 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 Harmony Project 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.
Jimmy Rintjema (email) does human resources and finances work for MIRI. Previously, he managed MIRI’s digital infrastructure, ensuring that websites, software tools, and systems ran smoothly. Jimmy joined MIRI in 2014 and works remotely in Ontario, Canada.
Finances and HR
Duncan Sabien (email) is a writer, teacher, videographer, and parkour practitioner. He has a background in middle grades education, and has previously worked as the curriculum director for the Center for Applied Rationality. He’d like to leave the universe noticeably different than he found it, and is easily manipulated by people quoting Ender’s Game.
Buck Shlegeris (email) worked as a software engineer at PayPal before joining MIRI, and was the first employee at Triplebyte. He previously studied at the Australian National University, majoring in CS and minoring in math and physics, and he has presented work on data structure synthesis at industry conferences.
Jan LeikeAlignment Team Lead, OpenAI
Christine PetersonFounder, Foresight Institute
Jed McCalebCofounder, Stellar Development Foundation
Stuart RussellProfessor, UC Berkeley
Director, Center for Human-Compatible AI
Author, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach