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Operations Manager / Generalist

Company: Alignment Research Center
Location: Berkeley
Posted on: September 21, 2023

Job Description:

IntroductionThe evaluations project at the Alignment Research Center is a new team building capability evaluations (and in the future, alignment evaluations) for advanced ML models. The goals of the project are to improve our understanding of what alignment danger is going to look like, understand how far away we are from dangerous AI, and create metrics that labs can make commitments around (e.g. 'If you hit capability threshold X, don't train a larger model until you've hit alignment threshold Y'). You can learn more about the project and .BackgroundThe evaluations project is seeking an operations manager to support its work, reporting to its operations lead. We think that this role offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to AI alignment efforts in an impactful way. We are most likely only looking for people withat least 4 years of professional experience for this position.Job MissionYour overall mission is to build, run and maintain systems that help the team get their work done efficiently and effectively. You will be responsible for managing everyday operational projects such as managing key aspects of our recruitment, working on sponsoring a visa, and helping to maintain a budget. Though at times you will be expected to handle tasks such as scheduling, we expect that you'll often have ownership of projects critical to our work. You'll report and work most closely with the evaluations project's operations lead.Skills- Highly organized. As a key member of our team, you will be expected to work on a diverse set of tasks and relationships. The demands of this role will require a flexible and adaptable approach, as you may be required to prioritize either quality or speed depending on the situation. The ability to adjust your work style accordingly is vital to succeeding in this position.- Executive function. To excel in this role you will need strong managerial skills and the ability to think strategically in order to guide and support a growing team. We expect to give you large areas of responsibility with low supervision; you will be responsible for making informed and insightful decisions that align with the overall goals of the project. This will require the ability to analyze and understand both short and long-term plans, as well as anticipate and plan for potential challenges. Insight and adaptability in response to changing circumstances are key.- Eagerness to learn. We hope to make ARC Evals a place that builds top operational talent. We're excited about finding people who want to become excellent at this work, and giving them sufficient direction, access to resources, and ownership such that they experience rapid growth. The ability to take, reflect on, and especially implement frequent feedback, as well as the confidence to challenge existing beliefs (of your own and your manager's), is an asset to this position.- Drive. The optimal candidate will have a strong drive to contribute and make a positive impact on the team. As a key member of the team, you will be expected to take initiative and be proactive in your efforts to support and improve the team's performance. You should be comfortable working independently and taking on new challenges, but also be a team player who is willing to collaborate and support your colleagues. A strong drive to contribute and make a difference is important in this role.- Interpersonal skills. This role requires strong communication skills and the ability to interact with others in an empathetic and professional manner. You will be a point of contact for potential hires, contractors, and staff. A strong candidate would help to facilitate high quality communication and organizational health across the team.- Research interest. You'll sometimes need to thoroughly investigate novel topics and provide solutions that can be relied upon by the organization and team. While most tasks will require a balanced approach of efficiency and effectiveness, the ability to investigate new topics in depth and apply newfound expertise to your work is valuable in this position.While technical expertise is not necessary for this position, a strong interest in AI and AI safety is essential.Application ProcessWe primarily use work tests for our evaluations. If we proceed with your application after review, we'll typically ask you to do 1 to 3 of these (in addition to 1-2 interviews).For some roles the first of these is expected to take less than 45 minutes, for others, it may take up to three hours. If we ask you to do a work test that is expected to take more than 1 hour (typical interview length), we will compensate you at a competitive hourly rate for your time.After the first 1-2 work tests, we'll schedule an interview to discuss the ideas behind the project, what you're looking for in a role, ask you any questions we have, and provide time for any other questions you have.After that we'd optimally do a 1-3 month trial period; we're open to figuring out how to manage this with each candidate.Team Status and StyleThe team is pretty new and operates much like a start-up: there is a relatively flat hierarchy and operations needs change frequently. It can therefore be difficult for us to precisely scope the long-term functions of a specific role. The team has made significant progress, but it is also still evaluating questions of "product-market fit", focus, and orientation toward a number of significant questions that will affect the team size and structure. This position offers a chance to help contribute and influence the team's development and growth.Other InformationDeadlineOur applications have no strict deadlines, but we evaluate candidates as they apply. Therefore it may be to your advantage to submit an application sooner rather than later.LocationWe're based out of Constellation offices in Downtown Berkeley. There's an onsite chef who provides lunch and dinner daily, there's exercise equipment, showers, snacks, and a great community!For technical roles, we fairly strongly prefer someone who can be in-person, but WFH some days of the week is fine, and remote is not a complete dealbreaker.For operations roles, we expect to only consider candidates who can relocate and work in-person.We should be able to sponsor visas for technical roles for those who need them (and as ARC is a non-profit, we don't have to go through the visa lottery for H1-B). There is a small chance we can sponsor for non-technical roles as well; we expect to only consider pursuing this for exceptional candidates.Pay and BenefitsCompensation is competitive with Bay Area tech roles (excluding equity, and we provide unlimited PTO to all employees.ARC's additional benefits include premium health insurance with more than 90% of premiums covered, a generous mental health allowance, and long-term disability insurance. We are working to expand upon this throughout the year, and we will especially prioritize putting in place those benefits most requested by our existing or incoming staff.MiscellaneousWe encourage you to apply even if your background may not seem like the perfect fit! We would rather review a larger pool of applications than risk missing out on a promising candidate for the position.We will not necessarily fill all open roles, and we may have candidates already trialing for some roles listed. We are also open to customizing or re-configuring roles to meet the talent profile of candidates; please just apply to the closest match.We are committed to diversity and equal opportunity in all aspects of our hiring process. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We welcome and encourage all qualified candidates to apply for our open positions.

Keywords: Alignment Research Center, Berkeley , Operations Manager / Generalist, Executive , Berkeley, California

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