About Ought
Ought is a non-profit research lab that designs mechanisms for delegating cognitive work to advanced machine learning (ML) systems. Our goal is to leverage ML for tasks where success can’t be reduced to a single metric. We're working towards a future where ML is as helpful for open-ended questions like “Should I get this medical procedure?” or “What are the risks in deploying this artificial intelligence (AI) system?” as it currently is for optimizing ad click-through rates.

About the role
The success of our research depends on Mosaic, an app for delegating thinking about hard questions to unaligned participants. We want you to own Mosaic and its future, reasoning through design choices and launching the next versions quickly. You’ll be expected to lead and build out a team.

Mosaic differs in important ways from most web apps:

  1. We want to rapidly explore ways for participants and ML systems to interact. This means that we can't build an app that hardcodes a single pattern of interaction between users (such as a chat between two participants). Instead, we want to support a large space of possible interactions.
  2. The purpose of the app is to structure the thinking of participants. We want to compositionally build up complex thoughts out of simple pieces. We're aiming to get to the point where automated aggregation of individual thoughts leads to something that is more than the sum of the pieces.

Humboldt famously talked about natural language as a system that "makes infinite use of finite means"—an infinite number of sentences can be created using a finite number of grammatical rules. As the engineering team lead at Ought, you will build mechanisms that are similarly flexible.

Our benefits and compensation packages are comparable to those of similar roles in the Bay Area. 

About you
We think the person who will thrive in this role will demonstrate the following:

  • 6+ years of experience building complex web apps from scratch (front-end and back-end)
  • Experience managing a small team, squad, or project with at least 3-5 other engineers in various roles
  • Ability to reason about and choose between different frameworks, cloud services, and libraries
  • Clear communication about engineering topics to a diverse audience

You'll especially enjoy working at Ought if you are:

  • Excited about being an early member of a small, nimble research organization and playing a key role in its success
  • Passionate about the mission and importance of designing schemes that successfully delegate cognitive work to AI systems
  • Experienced with functional programming (e.g. SICP), programmable software (e.g., Emacs, Vim), or symbolic AI (e.g. PAIP)

EEO & Employment Eligibility
Ought is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, disability status, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

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