The Cooperative AI Foundation (CAIF, pronounced “safe”) is a new charitable entity whose mission is to support research that will improve the cooperative intelligence of advanced AI for the benefit of all. This mission is driven by our belief that many of the most important problems facing humanity – climate change, nuclear war, and pandemic preparedness, to name but a few – are problems of cooperation, and that AI will be increasingly important when it comes to solving (or exacerbating) such problems.
Backed by a large philanthropic commitment, our ambition is to build the nascent field of Cooperative AI, improving the ability of AI systems to engender cooperation between humans, machines, and institutions. A more detailed introduction to this field can be found in our recent Nature piece and paper on open problems in Cooperative AI.
The “benefit of all” sits at the heart of everything we do. We are relentless in our ambition to have the greatest possible positive impact, both supporting and trusting our staff (and our external partners) to perform at their best. We strive to learn from our failures, through a culture of curiosity, openness, and compassion, alongside evidence-based reasoning and rigorous evaluation. With a diversity of perspectives and values forming the core of any cooperation problem, we must also practise what we preach: maintaining plurality, equity, and inclusiveness in all that we do.
This an exciting, varied, and unique opportunity for someone who understands and cares deeply about the need for AI systems to work collaboratively with human beings and/or other AI systems to achieve common goals. You’ll lead the team, alongside the research director (Lewis Hammond, currently acting executive director), to make strategic and prudent decisions, focusing on positive impact as well as proper process. You’ll represent CAIF across partnerships with academia, industry, funders, and the public sector. You’ll be relentless in finding opportunities for CAIF to help build this new field, including increasing access to those otherwise underrepresented in AI. The responsibilities of the managing director will include:
- Build on CAIF’s existing vision, values, goals, and activities: setting the org structure and hiring roadmap, working with the research director and other technical staff to determine CAIF’s priorities and to track organisational performance;
- Create and monitor budgets, play a key role in talent acquisition and grantmaking, line manage staff, and oversee all of CAIF’s main activities in order to deliver on its mission and strategy, while staying true to its values and culture;
- Ensure good governance through fostering productive relationships with the trustees, advisors and other key stakeholders, including the management of board processes and oversight of organisational practices and partnerships;
- Lead fundraising efforts, to ensure CAIF has a diverse base of funders, and is able to grow and deploy funds at pace whilst maintaining cash reserves, serving as a public face of the foundation alongside the research director.
As a small but growing organisation, it will also sometimes be necessary for the managing director to assist directly with the execution of various programs and activities, alongside hiring for new staff to lead on this execution.