I’m a research/software engineer in the Bay Area wishing to do good. I’m (perhaps unusually) interested in the long term future of the world, and am (perhaps irrationally) afraid of advanced technology causing human extinction. I currently think most about artificial intelligence, which seems somewhat likely to be transformative in my lifetime. In my personal life, I try but often fail to be both reasonable and kind.
In my free time, I like to:
- Think and occasionally write up thoughts. I’d like to say I think about all kinds of worldly and mathematical topics, but it’s largely just computer science and technology.
- Work on a variety of side projects.
- Appreciate things humanity has produced, e.g. reading, playing games, doing puzzles, watching shows, listening to music. Here are some of my favorite things.
- Spend time with my family and friends.
I’ve been lucky to have had a very enjoyable life. A brief history of me:
- I was born in San Diego, where I grew up (except a stint in the Bay Area years 2 through 9). I spent much of my time on games and the internet. My main accomplishment in life was getting into college.
- I then went to MIT, where I learned a ton of math and CS, met amazing people, and had lots of fun. I enjoyed it so much I stayed for a Master’s working on probabilistic programming languages, partially to avoid the real world.
- Armed with only theory knowledge, I moved to San Francisco to be the second employee at Terminal.com, a startup providing computer environments in the browser. I left after nearly 4 years; the company was later acquired by Udacity.
- I then spent 2 years at Google working on deep learning for user personalization. My team was partially responsible for Google creepily understanding you based on your past history of Google product usage. I did a mix of infrastructure and research.
- I’m now at OpenAI, working on the Reflection team, which is focused on value alignment. We’re trying to ensure that human level artificial intelligence will be beneficial to humanity!