Approximate time involvements of BERI's most active staff are given in parentheses after their names below. We do this to combat "affiliation inflation": a pattern where large numbers of teams tend to lay claim to the same over-committed individuals, which ends up exaggerating the appearance of work being done in a field. If more teams begin publically indicating time involvements, it will help the public to judge how much work is happening in specific areas, including existential risk.
Sawyer Bernath (full-time)
Sawyer manages all BERI operations, including our collaborations program
. Prior to joining BERI in July 2019, Sawyer was a Production Manager at Research Electro Optics (now Excelitas Boulder
) and Head of Production at Modular Robotics
. He has a B.S. in physics from Tufts University.
Andrew Critch (~½ day/week)
President & Founder
Andrew Critch (email)
is currently a full-time research scientist in the EECS department at UC Berkeley, at Stuart Russell's Center for Human Compatible AI
. He earned his PhD in mathematics at UC Berkeley studying applications of algebraic geometry to machine learning models. During that time, he cofounded the Center for Applied Rationality
. Andrew has been offered university faculty positions in mathematics and mathematical biosciences, worked as an algorithmic stock trader at Jane Street Capital
's New York City office, and as a research fellow at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute
. His current research interests include logical uncertainty, open source game theory, and avoiding arms race dynamics between nations and companies in AI development.
Sofia Davis-Fogel (~1 day/month)
Sofia joined BERI as Project Manager in the spring of 2019, and now manages BERI's remaining active project grants
. Previously, she held multiple roles at Animal Charity Evaluators
(ACE), a nonprofit organization which uses research to find and promote the most effective ways to help animals. Outside of these positions, Sofia has contributed to the completion of a book on the ethics of animal agriculture and to several op-eds on adjacent topics, which have been published in The San Francisco Chronicle
, and The Guardian
. Sofia completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies at NYU and is working towards a masters degree in nonprofit management from the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at CUNY Baruch College.
Treasurer & Director
Eric is co-founder of Arbital
, a platform for finding, reading, and creating crowdsourced, intuitive explanations, developed partly in response to the observation that arguments about civilization-scale priorities like existential risk are complex and in need of better organizational tools for conveying them. He studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University, and has previously worked as a Software Development Engineer at Microsoft and Amazon.
Advisors to the Board
Roboticist, entrepreneur, meditator
Alex was a member of BERI's Board of Directors until February, 2020. He is currently on sabbatical, retooling for his next adventure. He was previously a Staff Software Engineer at Cruise Automation
, which he joined after the company he co-founded, Zippy, was acquired. Alex holds a DPhil in Engineering from Oxford University and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Adelaide.
Professor of Mathematics, University of Toronto
Jacob Tsimerman is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Toronto, a Sloan Fellow, and the 2015 recipient of the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, an international prize for work in the area of number theory. He obtained his PhD degree from Princeton University in 2011 under the guidance of Peter Clive Sarnak. In 2003 and 2004, Jacob represented Canada in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and won gold medals both years, with a perfect score in 2004. Following his PhD, he had a post-doctoral position at Harvard University as a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows.
Chief Operating Officer, Machine Intelligence Research Institute
Malo Bourgon oversees operations and program activities at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute
. He also co-chairs the committee on the Safety and Beneficence of Artificial General Intelligence and Artificial Superintelligence of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. Malo earned a master’s degree in engineering at the University of Guelph.
Founding team and CIO at Bellroy
Matt Fallshaw serves as Chief Information Officer at Bellroy, a company he co-founded. Matt has also been a product designer & product design manager, a factory & tool room manager, a logistics & supply chain consultant, a programmer & software consultancy manager, and a director of a handful of startups. Matt earned a BE and a BA at the University of Melbourne.
Sam Bankman-Fried runs Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency trading firm. He is also a member of the board for the Centre for Effective Altruism US
and Animal Charity Evaluators
. Previously, he served as Director of Development at CEA and earned to give at the quantitative trading firm Jane Street. Sam earned a BA in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh
Executive Director, Center for the Study of Existential Risk, Cambridge
Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh is the Executive Director of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
(CSER), and is Co-I on CSER’s research projects.
Under his and Huw Price’s leadership, CSER has grown in three years to be a world-leading academic research center on extreme technological risk, and is now funded at £3M+ over 2015–18. Since 2011 he has played a central role in research on long-term AI impacts and risks, project managing the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology. He has led an active program of engagement with both policymakers and research leaders in computer science on long-term AI, both in the UK and Europe.
At the Future of Humanity Institute
, Sean also helped develop and establish the FHI-Amlin Collaboration on Systemic Risk in 2013, as well as several other research programmes, as part of a broad research and centre development portfolio. His primary research interests include: emerging technologies, risk, technology policy, horizon-scanning and foresight, expertise elicitation and aggregation, genomics, synthetic biology, evolution and artificial intelligence. He has a PhD in genomics.
Founder and Lead Principal Investigator, Center for Human Compatible AI
Professor Russell recently founded the Center for Human Compatible AI at UC Berkeley, where he is a Professor (and formerly Chair) of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, and holder of the Smith-Zadeh Chair in Engineering. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery at UC San Francisco and Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum's Council on AI and Robotics.
Stuart has been an outspoken defender of intellectual work directed at mitigating existential risk, specifically future risks from artificial intelligence. He is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award of the National Science Foundation, the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, the World Technology Award (Policy category), the Mitchell Prize of the American Statistical Association and the International Society for Bayesian Analysis, the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, and the AAAI/EAAI Outstanding Educator Award. In 1998, he gave the Forsythe Memorial Lectures at Stanford University and from 2012 to 2014 he held the Chaire Blaise Pascal in Paris.