Greg Colbourn has been into EA for years but moved into working on related things full time – including founding and organising this project – relatively recently. Previously, he studied Astrophysics (undergrad), and Earth System Modelling (PhD), and worked on 3D printing/open source hardware (business with a view to EA). He has dabbled in investing (mainly crypto), and studying subjects related to AI Safety, of which he hopes to do more of.
Florent Berthet is a social entrepreneur who cofounded Effective Altruism France. He also founded and is the director of a Sudbury school in Lyon. After teaching entrepreneurship at an engineering school for 3 years, Florent now works full-time at Good Growth, a new initiative that helps high-impact organisations be more effective by connecting them with experts from various fields.
Sasha Cooper has been involved with the EA movement in various capacities since its inception, and currently works as a software developer for Founders Pledge.
Denisa Pop [Guest Representative, Sep 2018 – present] – “I’m a former counselling psychologist specialised in cognitive-behavioural therapy and I also have a research background in human-animal interaction (PhD). As a hobby, I enjoy bringing people together (e.g. through organising conferences such as EAGx, TEDx), because I find this to be a great way for people to inspire and to get inspired, as well as to strengthen the bonds within the community. So at the hotel, besides writing a scientific article and offering mental health sessions, I’m organising events together with EA Netherlands.”
Toon Alfrink is the founder of RAISE, which aims to upgrade the pipeline for junior AI Safety researchers, primarily by creating an online course. He co-founded LessWrong Netherlands in 2016. He has given talks about EA and AI Safety, addressing crowds at various venues including festivals and fraternities. He is also working part time on managing the hotel, using his experience of living in a Buddhist temple as a reference for creating the best possible living and working environment..
Tom Rogers works on minimising animal suffering via promoting veganism. He helped with the logistics of getting the hotel up and running and maintains the building.
Derek Foster has a background in philosophy, education, public health and health economics. While living at the EA Hotel, he co-authored a chapter of the 2019 Global Happiness Policy Report (to be published on 10 February), which focused on ways of incorporating subjective wellbeing into healthcare prioritisation. He now works on animal welfare, mental health and grantmaking for Rethink Priorities.
Justin Shovelain is the founder of the quantitative long term strategy organisation Convergence. Over the last seven years he has worked with MIRI, CFAR, EA Global, Founders Fund, and Leverage, and done work in EA strategy, fundraising, networking, teaching, cognitive enhancement, and AI safety research. He has a MS degree in computer science and BS degrees in computer science, mathematics, and physics.
David Kristoffersson – “Software engineer, thinker, and organiser. I have a background as R&D Project Manager and Software Engineer at Ericsson. I’ve worked with FHI. I co-organised the first AI Safety Camp. I’m currently doing AI and existential risk strategy with Convergence and this is what I’ll be working on at the hotel when I return in September. I enjoy figuring out the most fundamental questions of how reality and humanity works.”
Lee Wright – “I’m currently undergoing a course of self-directed study to prepare myself for an EA-aligned career. Despite my main interest in global governance and international policy, while at the hotel I’ve focused on developing a general skill set that I think will be useful for any analytics or operations job. Since I’m not working directly on an EA project, and the opportunity cost for me is comparatively lower than some other guests, I help out with the back-end operations of the hotel where I can.”
Chris Leong is currently focusing his research on infinite ethics, but his side-interests include decision theory, anthropics and paradoxes. He helped found the EA society at the University of Sydney and managed to set up an unfortunately short-lived group at the University of Maastricht whilst on exchange. He represented Australia at the International Olympiad in Informatics and won a Gold in the Asian Pacific Maths Olympiad. He’s studied philosophy and psychology and occasionally enjoys dancing Salsa.
Davide Zagami completed a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and decided to head as an autodidact towards contributing to AI safety and AI alignment technical research. He strives to learn as much as possible and is hungry for evidence about how he can personally mitigate existential risks. He leads the content development of RAISE, a non-profit organisation which is creating an online course for AI safety.
Hoagy Cunningham graduated from Oxford in 2017 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and is now teaching himself all the Maths, Neuroscience and Computer Science he can get his hands on that might point the way towards a future of safe AI. He currently works for RAISE, porting Paul Christiano’s IDA sequence to their teaching platform, and adding exercises.
Roshawn Terell is an AI Researcher, Information Theorist, Cognitive scientist, who works to build bridges between distant fields of knowledge. He is mostly self-taught, having worked on multiple research projects, with various published papers and lectures at Oxford, and not only. He is presently engaged in applying his cognitive science theories towards developing more sophisticated artificial intelligence.
Edward Wise became interested in Effective Altruism at Oxford University, and aims to research the interaction between the ethics of effective altruism and left-wing political philosophy.
Fredi Backtoldt – “I’m studying philosophy at Goethe Universität Frankfurt, currently writing my master thesis on the Demandingness Objection to ethical theories. On the side, i started to volunteer for Animal Ethics, where I now also do an internship. The hotel with its great atmosphere helps me to put my values into action and that’s what I’m trying to do here!
Rhys Southan is a writer and philosopher with a focus on animal ethics and population ethics. Last year he completed a master’s degree in philosophy at The University of Oxford. He has been published in the New York Times, Aeon Magazine and Modern Farmer. While at the EA Hotel, Rhys is working on a fiction novel related to AI alignment, as well as researching and writing on animal ethics. He is also interested in autism and how it affects romantic relationships and mental health.
Rory S. is currently self-studying machine learning and economics, in order to develop a wider range of relevant skills, think more about cause prioritisation, and pursue further graduate studies on topics related to effective altruism. Whilst at the hotel, they have begun working on a conference paper (aiming to introduce ideas about logical induction and AI safety to mathematical philosophers), and performed remote work for the Open Philanthropy Project, helping to develop better tests for future research applicants. Previously, they were a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Cambridge, working on decision theory and formal epistemology. They have nascent interests in the potential for research in quantitative history to provide guidance in predicting the long-term future, and find the communal atmosphere of the hotel a fantastic place to discuss many different cause areas, given their current focus is on the ‘explore’ side of the explore/exploit tradeoff.
Matt Goldenberg is a community builder and entrepreneur. His current research is on the systematisation of creating impactful organisations.
Max Carpendale studied philosophy at university. Max has been doing research and writing on the subject of invertebrate sentience from an EA angle. He has worked with Rethink Priorities on the subject. Max’s been interested and involved with EA since 2011 and has been interested in many related ideas before then.
Arron Branton moved from London to Blackpool, quitting his job to focus on learning programming full time. He is currently working on creating a video game for the Google Play store and Apple’s App store, which is planned to be released later in 2019. The money raised will go towards helping save human lives in the poorest poorest countries around the world. ‘What kind of game is he working on?’ (I hear you ask). You’ll have to wait and see!E
Linda Linsefors is an independent AI Safety student and researcher. She has previously completed a PhD in Quantum cosmology, organised an AI Safety Camp and interned at MIRI. Linda is currently learning more ML and RL, and also thinking about wireheading and the relation between learning and theory, among other things.
Markus Salmela studies human health, philosophy and social sciences. He has worked on research projects relating to existential risks and long term forecasting, and also organised EA-events. He is currently writing about longevity research from an existential risk perspective.
Past guests include:
Gavin Leech – “I’m a data scientist at a giant insurer. I write an EA blog here. I like talking about the far future, machine learning, analytic philosophy, statistics as applied epistemology, tech solutions to social problems, and social solutions to tech problems. During my first stay at Athena I worked on the Prague AI Safety Camp and wrote my first LessWrong piece, on technological unemployment. I’ll be back!”
Mathilde Guittard – “Senior Associate at Invesco (finance), I work on big real estate projects around the world. It is a bit an earn to give situation that allows me to donate monthly to EA charities. I try to spread the word. I also care about social entrepreneurship and finding effective ways to improve global health (mostly through nutrition) in order to reduce poverty/human suffering in order to increase equality of chance so the best people can make the world a better place. Still pondering if my next move will be in impact investment or in global health. My stay in the hotel inspired me to take a step forward global health and to reach out more often to EA community.”
John Maxwell – “I’m a software developer and entrepreneur, and I’ve been thinking about effective altruism for nearly ten years now. I cofounded MealSquares, a nutritionally complete food bar company, and I have a degree in computer science from UC Berkeley. At the hotel, I am focused on acquiring deeper knowledge of machine learning and thinking about AI safety (this essay of mine won $2000 in the AI alignment prize).”
Evan Sandhoefner graduated from Harvard in 2017 with a degree in economics and computer science. He worked as a program manager at Microsoft for a short time before leaving to pursue EA work directly. For now, he’s independently studying a wide range of EA-relevant topics, with a particular interest in consciousness.
Alexandr Nil – “I came to know and embrace effective altruism through the writings of David Pearce. Alas I’m in the Hotel only for ten days – an official “vacation” from my earning-to-give software developer job in Berlin. While I’m here, I’m finishing a project proposal related to Pearce’s Abolitionist Project, working on a blog-post draft, deciding whether and how to switch to ~direct EA work (including considering the Hotel Manager role), continue volunteering for LEAN’s editorial team and experience a better way of living an EA life in general.”
Alexandra Johnson – “I’m a current graduate student and researcher with an interest in policy and operations. I’ve been involved with effective altruism for the past 3 years or so. I have a degree in engineering and I’m currently in an operations role with Convergence Analysis, focused on existential risk strategy, while also working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on health related topics. Previously, my research work has spanned health and animal welfare.”
Rafe Kennedy works on macrostrategy & AI strategy and studies maths and statistics, with the goal of contributing towards AI Safety. Previous work at the hotel has included game-theoretic modelling of AI development and visualisations of statistical concepts. He holds a master’s in Physics & Philosophy from Oxford and has previously worked as a software engineer at a venture-backed data science startup.
Saulius Šimčikas is a Research Analyst at Rethink Priorities, mostly working on topics related to animal welfare. Previously, he was a research intern at Animal Charity Evaluators, organised Effective Altruism events in the UK and Lithuania, and earned to give as a programmer. Living in the hotel helps him focus on work.
[Please send us a short bio if you are staying, or have stayed, at the hotel and would like to appear here.]