CHAI’s mission is to ensure that as the capabilities of AI systems increase, their impact remains provably beneficial for humans. We seek to fill the following positions:
We would also like to hear from researchers interested in collaborating with us.
CHAI hosts internships year-round and we accept applications on a rolling basis, although due to increased demand we ask that applicants wishing to work over the summer apply before 28th February. Please read all the information below and then apply using this form.
Our internships require a strong background in mathematics and computer science. Existing research experience in machine learning is strongly advantageous but not required. Although primarily aimed at undergraduates, we are also interested in applications from people who can demonstrate technical excellence and wish to transition to provably beneficial AI research. Examples include professional ML engineers, or PhD students/researchers in an adjacent numerical field. Experienced researchers or PhD students in a directly related field should get in touch to find out about our visiting researcher program.
Internships are typically 8 - 12 weeks long and interns will receive a stipend to cover living costs. We may also offer more flexible informal placements on a case by case basis. We welcome applications from all countries.
The application process consists four phases:
- Submission of a CV, academic transcript, sample of technical writing, and short statement of motivation, as described in the application form.
- Promising candidates will then be asked to submit a two-page research proposal and one or two recommendation letters from referees attesting to your research ability (you may submit this with your initial application if you like but you won’t be disadvantaged if you prefer to wait until hearing back from phase 1).
- Promising candidates will then be invited for phone interviews with CHAI researchers where we will assess your background in mathematics, computer science and machine learning.
- Shortlisted candidates will then be invited for further interviews with CHAI researchers interested in mentoring you.
Last year's interns developed essential skills and knowledge preparing them for graduate school and industry opportunities. Take a look at what they had to say:
If you have any questions about the position or application process, please e-mail Rosie Campbell.
Research proposal advice for internship applications
The hardest part of research is often asking the right questions. For this reason, we request a research proposal as part of the selection process. We will use this primarily to assess applicants’ motivation and interest in the field, and it is a great opportunity for you to practice this essential research skill
This is your opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of related work in the field and the ability to formulate novel research questions; please include as much technical detail as possible. Although we will take into account the research interests expressed in your proposal when matching you with potential advisors and projects, in most cases interns will work on a project closely associated with their advisor’s research, rather than the project described in your proposal.
We are aware that for many applicants this will be the first research proposal they have written, so we’ve put together a few resources to help you get started. We’d recommend everyone read Concrete Problems in AI Safety, which surveys several promising research directions. You can get more ideas by following the citations in this paper, by checking out a list of topics from the Open Philanthropy Project or reading CHAI’s very own publications.
When an idea from one of these sources catches your interest, spend some time reading up on prior work in the area, and brainstorm a few ideas for how to extend it. Try and be original: we’d rather read a half-baked idea that is novel, than an eloquently explained idea that is derivative. Finally, relax: we’re not expecting fully fleshed out proposals, especially from applicants who are new to research.
Postdoc specializing in AI safety and control
Start date: Flexible
Application: (google form)
If you are a graduating PhD student, taking a postdoc at CHAI before moving into industry or a faculty position can help you to develop an expertise in the field of AI safety and control, positioning you to become at leader in this developing field.
Successful candidates will work with the CHAI Director, Stuart Russell, or with one of the Berkeley co-Principal Investigators, Pieter Abbeel, Anca Dragan, and Tom Griffiths. There will also be opportunities to collaborate with CHAI investigators at Cornell (Bart Selman, Joe Halpern) and Michigan (Michael Wellman, Satinder Singh), as well as with groups at Cambridge, Oxford, and Imperial College through the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence.
Developing provably beneficial AI systems will require a significant reorientation of the general thrust of AI research, which up to now has been largely concerned with designing systems that optimize exogenously specified objectives. Given the broad and open-ended mandate of the Center, the post holder will have considerable freedom to pursue novel research projects within CHAI’s areas of interest, either individually or working with PhD students and undergraduate researchers.
Early examples of CHAI’s work include a recent paper on cooperative inverse reinforcement learning (to appear in NIPS 16). Related work includes some results from FHI’s collaboration with Google DeepMind and the descriptions of research problems by Google Brain and by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute
Candidates need not have done previous work on the AI control problem but must have (or be about to obtain) a PhD in a relevant technical discipline (computer science, statistics, mathematics, or theoretical economics) and a record of high-quality published research. A solid understanding of current methods in AI and statistical learning would be an advantage. If you choose to apply, do so via this (google form).
Assistant Research Engineer (contractor / flexible start date)
Start date: October 2017
Salary: $102,800 to $117,100
Location: Berkeley, California
Open date: September 7th, 2017
Next review date: September 27th, 2017. Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: September 27th, 2017. Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.
UC Berkeley research group, Center for Human-Compatible AI (CHAI), in the Department of EECS at the University of California, Berkeley seeks applications for an Assistant Research Engineer, $102,800 - $117,100 in the area of Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, or in a closely related field at the time of application. The candidate will perform work under Professor Stuart Russell.
This is a full-time, one-year position at 100% and is renewable for a second year depending on availability of funding and satisfactory performance. Anticipated start date is October 2017.
The responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Perform research on AI safety within the Center for Human-Compatible AI, including development of mathematical frameworks and algorithms, experiments, and contributing to reports and papers;
- assist in the facilitation and moderation of research discussions to orient them in directions relevant to the Center’s mission;
- communicate the Center’s research to the broader research communities via talks and presentations;
- supervise student research.
Must have a PhD or equivalent degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, or in a closely related field at the time of application.
Additional Qualifications (by start date):
A mixture of theoretical and practical experience will be desired, such as: 1-2 years of post-PhD research experience focused on the development of mathematical frameworks and algorithms for AI and/or AI safety; 1-2 years of professional experience in applied data-driven sciences.
This position will remain open until filled.
To receive full consideration interested individuals should submit application documents as PDFs, which includes:
- Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
- Statement of Research
- Writing Sample
- 3 references required (contact information only): Letters of reference will only be solicited for finalists.
All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality prior to submitting their letters.
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. See here for the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy.
We welcome potential collaborations with faculty members, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates with suitable backgrounds. The core technical areas of research include concepts and tools one might acquire as a student or researcher in computer science, mathematics, control theory, robotics, statistics, formal logic, economics (including game theory), cognitive psychology, or neuroscience. We are also interested in extending our activities into areas relevant to moral philosophy, sociology, political science, law, and other fields dealing with formal and semiformal theories of human value systems and the organization principles that further those systems.
If you’re interested in working with us, there may be ways we can help, depending on your current research situation. In addition to signing up to receive our newsletter (coming soon), if you fall into any of the following categories, please contact us to start a conversation:
- At Berkeley: please contact our Director, Stuart Russell (email@example.com), if you are interested in a potential research collaboration or would like to know more. You may wish to join the mailing list for one of our regular seminars covering a range of HCAI-related topics, often with outside speakers.
- At Cornell or Michigan: please contact Bart Selman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Michael Wellman (email@example.com).
- At other institutions: please contact Rosie Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’re interested in initiating an HCAI-related research activity at your own institution, collaborating with us, visiting Berkeley, or sending graduate students as visitors. Also feel free to borrow or build on our course syllabi (coming soon) for teaching at your own institution.
Postdocs and graduate students:
Contact Rosie Campbell (email@example.com) if you fall into one of the following categories:
- Postdocs and graduate students at Berkeley: If you’re already at Berkeley and have a suitable technical background, we can invite you to one of our research meetings to see if any opportunities for collaboration arise.
- PhD students at other institutions: Please discuss with your advisor whether it would be a good idea for you to spend a semester or two at Berkeley working with us. Your advisor can recommend you as a visiting student. Also be sure to check for postdoc openings.
Note to undergraduate students interested in graduate study in this area at Berkeley: please apply directly to the graduate program that is appropriate for your background and research interests. The CHAI faculty at Berkeley (Stuart Russell, Peter Abbeel, Anca Dragan, and Tom Griffiths) typically supervise PhD students in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Logic and Methodology of Science, and Psychology. You may certainly mention your interest in working with one or more of us in your application; but do not send applications to us, or ask us for feedback on your qualifications. In all cases, admission decisions are made by the Admissions Committee. We will be happy to discuss research and/or supervision with you once you have been admitted.