Be a Visiting Fellow at the Singularity Institute

by AnnaSalamon2 min read19th May 2010171 comments


Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI)
Personal Blog

Now is the very last minute to apply for a Summer 2010 Visiting Fellowship.  If you’ve been interested in SIAI for a while, but haven’t quite managed to make contact -- or if you’re just looking for a good way to spend a week or more of your summer -- drop us a line.  See what an SIAI summer might do for you and the world. 

(SIAI’s Visiting Fellow program brings volunteers to SIAI for anywhere from a week to three months, to learn, teach, and collaborate.  Flights and room and board are covered.  We’ve been rolling since June of 2009, with good success.)

Apply because:

  • SIAI is tackling the world’s most important task -- the task of shaping the Singularity.  The task of averting human extinction. We aren’t the only people tackling this, but the total set is frighteningly small.
  • When numbers are this small, it’s actually plausible that you can tip the balance
  • SIAI has some amazing people to learn from -- many report learning and growing more here than in any other period of their lives.
  • SIAI also has major gaps, and much that desperately needs doing but that we haven’t noticed yet, or have noticed but haven’t managed to fix -- gaps where your own skills, talents, and energy can come into play.

Apply especially if:

  • You have start-up experience or are otherwise an instigator: someone who can walk into an unstructured environment and create useful projects for yourself and others;
  • You’re skilled at creating community; you have an open heart; you can learn rapidly, and create contexts for others to learn; you have a serious interest in pioneering more effective ways of thinking;
  • You care about existential risk, and are searching for long-term career paths that might help;
  • You have high analytic intelligence, a tendency to win math competitions, or background and thinking skill around AI, probability, anthropics, simulation scenarios, rationality, existential risk, and related topics; (math, compsci, physics, or analytic philosophy background is also a plus)
  • You have a specific background that is likely to prove helpful: academic research experience; teaching or writing skill; strong personal productivity; programming fluency; a cognitive profile that differs from the usual LW mold; or strong talent of some other sort, in an area we need, that we may not have realized we need.

(You don’t need all of the above; some is fine.)

Don’t be intimidated -- SIAI contains most of the smartest people I’ve ever met, but we’re also a very open community.  Err on the side of sending in an application; then, at least we’ll know each other.  (Applications for fall and beyond are also welcome; we’re taking Fellows on a rolling basis.)

If you’d like a better idea of what SIAI is, and what we’re aimed at, check out:
1. SIAI's Brief Introduction;
2.  The Challenge projects;
3.  Our 2009 accomplishments;
4.  Videos from past Singularity Summits (the 2010 Summit will happen during this summer’s program, Aug 14-15 in SF; visiting Fellows will assist);
5.  Comments from our last Call for Visiting Fellows; and/or
6.  Bios of the 2009 Summer Fellows.

Or just drop me a line.  Our application process is informal -- just send me an email at anna at singinst dot org with: (1) a resume/c.v. or similar information; and (2) a few sentences on why you’re applying.  And we’ll figure out where to go from there.

Looking forward to hearing from you.