We are thrilled to announce the Epoch and Forecasting Research Institute (FRI) mentorship program for women, non-binary people, and trans people of all genders. This program aims to provide guidance to individuals who want to contribute to the field of AI forecasting.

The program mentors are Tegan McCaslin (FRI), Molly G Hickman (FRI), Avital Morris (FRI), David Owen (Epoch), Ben Cottier (Epoch) and Pablo Villalobos (Epoch).

Tegan McCaslin
Senior Research Analyst, FRI

Tegan began working on AI-related forecasting research at AI Impacts in 2018, after which she became interested in broader questions in forecasting methodology and group epistemics. Improving the quality and decision-relevance of forecasting questions has been one her key focuses at FRI. She’s also interested in the challenges posed by forecasting on long timescales, the strategic properties of AI capabilities and their timings, and clever research design, among other things.

Avital Morris
Research Analyst, FRI

Avital is a researcher and writer, particularly interested in areas where technical skill interacts with common knowledge. She has previously been a PhD student in history at Yale, taught content related to history, trading, and rationality at the Atlas Fellowship, and worked as a writer for the Center for AI Safety.

Molly Hickman
Data Analyst, FRI

Molly is a computer scientist with a background in crowdsourced intelligence. She worked at the MITRE Corporation on test and evaluation for several forecasting projects, and now forecasts herself – she is a member of the Samotsvety forecasting team and has been a 'Pro' on INFER. Previously, Molly worked at nLine, Inc., a startup that monitors outlet-level power reliability in Sub-Saharan Africa, working to improve the reach and resilience of energy infrastructure.

David Owen
Senior Researcher, Epoch

David is a researcher with a background in computer vision and machine learning. He is interested in analyzing and predicting model capabilities, and using empirical data to explore AI deployment in the real world. Before joining Epoch, David worked in an industrial research lab developing AI models for surgical video.

Ben Cottier
Staff Researcher, Epoch

Ben’s research interests include the diffusion of AI capabilities among actors, and measuring the effects of different inputs to AI progress. Previously, he was a Research Fellow at Rethink Priorities, and spent time as a software engineer. Ben has a background in machine learning.

Pablo Villalobos
Staff Researcher, Epoch

Pablo has a background in Mathematics and Computer Science. After spending some time as a software engineer, he decided to pivot towards AI. His interests include the economic consequences of advanced AI systems and the role of algorithmic improvements in AI progress.

Ajeya Cotra (Open Philanthropy) is a research advisor to the project. The program is coordinated by Jaime Sevilla (Epoch), with the support of Maria de la Lama (Epoch). Kathryn Mecrow-Flynn (Magnify Mentoring) is a program advisor.

Throughout the program, the mentees will work in pairs under the guidance of a mentor to produce original research on Artificial Intelligence Forecasting. Each mentor will offer to guide a selection of projects within their expertise. Examples of projects on offer might include studying trends on the context size of Large Language Models, estimating the computational resources available to large AI companies, studying the applicability of integrated assessment models to AI and synthesizing predictors of task automation difficulty.

Applicants must be over the age of 21 and identify as women, non-binary, and/or transgender. We welcome applications from people who are enthusiastic about AI forecasting, regardless of their level of experience. If you are unsure if you would be a good fit for the program, we encourage you to apply anyway!

The program will run from Monday 3rd of July to Friday 1st of September. We expect a minimum time commitment of 10h/week from participants, including a weekly meeting with your mentor and a second weekly meeting with the rest of program participants. The program will be virtual, free of charge and open to participants around the world1. To remove barriers to attendance, we will be offering $1000 stipends to accepted participants who solicit it.

You can apply now and until the 23rd of June through this form. Submit your application today!

Notes

  1. Program meetings are expected to happen within 16:00 to 19:00 UK time / 8:00 to 11:00 West Coast time. Otherwise participants will be free to arrange their time as best suits them.