Research Scientist, AI Futures

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What Openai is looking for in applicants

About the team

The Futures team, part of OpenAI’s Policy Research team, is responsible for long-term forecasting and planning for advanced AI. We conduct interdisciplinary research on how AI development might change the world, and what outcomes we should aim towards.

About the role

As a Research Scientist on the Futures team at OpenAI, you’ll help us steer AI development and deployment in beneficial directions. We are looking for researchers who are excited about understanding how AI might have a large-scale impact on the world, and what OpenAI can do to have a positive influence.

Your work will involve analysing the impacts of AI and possible interventions for governing them, using knowledge and perspectives from social sciences and the humanities. Since we're a small team, we expect that you'll significantly shape our research directions and methodologies. You'll have the latitude to collaborate with relevant external scholars, and scope to develop your own research agenda over time.

The ideal candidate will be self-directed and will enjoy asking foundational research questions, challenging (and improving) existing frameworks for thinking about AI, and engaging broad audiences with their research. We're particularly looking for candidates who are open to pursuing unusually exploratory and open-ended research.

Example research questions might include:

  • How might we understand, measure, and anticipate the capabilities of AI systems, and the effects they have on the world?
  • How will ongoing cultural and economic changes interact with AI development?
  • What implicit assumptions are shaping the ways that people think about AI development?
  • How can we best inform and prepare the world for advanced AI capabilities, and possible risks?
  • What are the best ways to distribute benefits from AI worldwide, and to future generations?

We seek candidates with the following qualifications:

  • Relevant knowledge and research experiences, such as a graduate degree in a relevant area (e.g. economics, history, or political science), or previous work on related topics
  • Demonstrated commitment to understanding the effects of technology on the trajectory of humanity is a plus
  • Technical understanding of and familiarity with recent developments in AI is a plus

About OpenAI

OpenAI is an AI research and deployment company dedicated to ensuring that general-purpose artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity. We push the boundaries of the capabilities of AI systems and seek to safely deploy them to the world through our products. AI is an extremely powerful tool that must be created with safety and human needs at its core, and to achieve our mission, we must encompass and value the many different perspectives, voices, and experiences that form the full spectrum of humanity. 

At OpenAI, we believe artificial intelligence has the potential to help people solve immense global challenges, and we want the upside of AI to be widely shared. Join us in shaping the future of technology.

Benefits and Perks
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance for you and your family
  • Mental health and wellness support
  • 401(k) plan with 4% matching 
  • Unlimited time off and 18+ company holidays per year 
  • Paid parental leave (20 weeks) and family-planning support
  • Annual learning & development stipend ($1,500 per year)
We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability or other legally protected statuses. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities, and requests can be made via

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