Overview

Job Title: Operations Lead

Location: Berkeley/San Francisco, CA (New York, NY may be an option)

Hours: Full time

Estimated salary range: $85-$105k

Application deadline: March 31, 2022

About AI Impacts

AI Impacts conducts original research to answer decision-relevant questions about the future of artificial intelligence, and maintains an online knowledge base on these topics. Our projects involve a variety of disciplines, including artificial intelligence, neuroscience, history, economics, computer science, physical science, evolutionary biology and philosophy.

Carrying out this kind of work involves: 

  • reasoning about how to make open-ended questions tractable, 
  • evaluating the existing academic literature, 
  • gathering and analyzing new data of various kinds, 
  • writing in academic and encyclopedic styles.

Examples of work we have done or may do:

  • Measuring computing performance trends, as input to forecasting future trends 
  • Reasoning about what human brains imply about the computing hardware that might be needed for ‘human-level’ AI performance
  • Analysis of arguments for AI posing an existential risk to humanity
  • Collection and analysis of empirical data on the frequency of discontinuous progress across a range of technologies
  • Interviews on the plausibility of AI  being relatively safe by default
  • Survey of machine learning researchers on opinion about the future of AI

More of our past work can be found elsewhere on our website.

We aim to inform decision-making around artificial intelligence, by both others familiar with the topic (e.g. people in the AI safety community making choices about what scenarios to focus their efforts on), and people new to it (e.g. policymakers with broad mandates).

Our workplace:

  • Is flexible and accommodating to idiosyncratic needs and preferences
  • Prioritizes employee thriving
  • Values openness, kindness, and truth-seeking: we strive to be a place where everyone can talk about real opinions and raise stupid questions
  • Values epistemic carefulness and reasoning transparency, and also making rough and fast estimates where appropriate

The role

We are looking for a skilled, flexible candidate to maintain our essential functions and support our research staff. The work will involve a mix of routine tasks, event planning, identifying and addressing the needs of our staff, and seeking ways to improve our effectiveness as an organization. Some of the work is likely to be repetitive, but all of it serves an important function and can make a real difference in our work. We believe this role is a great opportunity for the right person to enhance our efforts and make a valuable contribution to the reduction of risk from advanced artificial intelligence.

This role involves a variety of duties, which will vary depending on the needs of the organization and its staff. They are likely to include (but are not limited to):

  • Tracking various things, such as purchases, snacks, and deadlines
  • Writing and maintaining internal documentation related to our operations
  • Planning events, such as our monthly dinners, which may have >30 people in attendance
  • Working with outside parties such as property managers, caterers, and other EA orgs to ensure that things run smoothly
  • Ensuring that our work environment is comfortable, friendly, and conducive to getting things done
  • Identifying and removing bottlenecks in our work

We are open to combining this role with the research assistant role, but the operations duties will always take priority.

Selection criteria

We do not have any highly specific requirements to qualify for this role, and you do not need to have any particular credentials or a track record for research in AI risk. This role is well-suited to candidates with a range of experience, including those with relatively little research experience and experienced researchers who find the particular style of work appealing. We expect strong candidates to have:

  • Enthusiasm toward helping our researchers produce great results
  • Good skills in communication and organization, especially those related to performing tasks according to given specifications
  • Ability to perform work that is repetitive, time-sensitive, or requires tracking many tasks at once

Other things that many strong candidates will not have, but which might make you an especially good fit:

  • Experience in an operations role at a non-profit
  • A track record for planning successful small-to-medium-sized events, especially for people and organizations with idiosyncratic needs and preferences
  • A knack for identifying the right level of detail and effort to get something done right without unnecessary effort
  • Familiarity with tools such as Google Sheets, Asana, and Expensify
  • Experience working on projects requiring a high degree of organization

Benefits

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Flexibility in work hours and location
  • Annual stipends for learning, well-being, and productivity tech

How to apply

If you are interested, please fill out our application by 15th of March. We may keep applications open later than this, but we do not guarantee considering applications past this date. We will likely reach out to a first round of strong applicants by early March. If you have any questions or are uncertain about how to fill out the form or whether you may be a good fit, please email Rick at rick@aiimpacts.org.