About

I’m a research/software engineer in the Bay Area wishing to do good. I’m interested in the long term future of the world, and am afraid of advanced technology causing long term harms to humans, especially extinction. I currently think most about artificial intelligence, which seems somewhat likely to be transformative in my lifetime.

In my free time, I like to:

  • 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.
  • Work on a variety of side projects.
  • 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.

History

I’ve been lucky to have had a very priviliged and 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 bunch of math and CS, met amazing people, and had lots of fun. I stayed for a Master’s working on probabilistic programming languages, largely because I enjoed undergrad and didn’t really know what I wanted to do.
  • With little knowledge about engineering, I moved to San Francisco to be the second employee at the startup Terminal.com, which provided programming environments in the browser. I left after nearly 4 years; the company was later acquired by Udacity.
  • I then spent a bit under 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 Alignment team. We’re trying to ensure that artificial intelligence will be truthful and helpful to humans!