My journey from DeepMind intern to mentor

Former intern turned intern supervisor, Richard Everett, describes his journey to DeepMind, sharing suggestions and recommendation for aspiring DeepMinders. The 2023 internship functions will open on the sixteenth September, please go to for extra info.

What was your path to DeepMind?

Like many individuals, I liked enjoying multiplayer video video games rising up. The interactions between human gamers and seemingly clever computer-controlled gamers fascinated me, and I dreamed a couple of profession in AI. This dream led me to pursue an undergraduate diploma in pc science; a typical (however not unique!) pathway into the business. Nonetheless, after engaged on a number of analysis initiatives with my professors, I developed a style for analysis and determined to proceed on in the direction of a PhD.

Across the time I began my PhD, a small startup known as DeepMind was acquired by Google. As I appeared nearer at their analysis, I shortly discovered it inspiring my very own analysis, and so in 2016 I made a decision to use for an internship. After a handful of interviews with engineers, researchers, and program managers, I didn’t get a proposal. Nonetheless, having met a bunch of nice researchers I made a decision to reapply the next yr and bought the internship. That have led to a full-time provide and I’ve been right here since, engaged on AI and serving to interns who’re going via the identical expertise.

Are you able to describe the internship interview course of?

The interview course of was thorough, nevertheless it’s developed since I utilized. At this time’s interns can anticipate the whole course of to final just some months, which features a technical and a group interview. In my utility, I listed the researchers that I used to be notably all for working with, and was fortunate sufficient to talk with them after my technical interview. I used to be so excited. This was a singular alternative to speak about my previous work and brainstorm potential internship initiatives with world-class researchers I had adopted for years, and ask them questions on DeepMind.

My recruiters had been extremely useful in guiding me via the method and offering assets to assist put together for the interviews. For the technical interview, I ready by revisiting my first-year undergraduate programs on arithmetic, statistics, and pc science. For instance, reviewing linear algebra, calculus, likelihood, algorithms, and knowledge constructions. I additionally practised some coding workouts the place I attempted to speak via what I used to be doing.

For the group interviews, I reviewed the group’s latest work (e.g. papers, weblog posts, articles, talks), and thought of how my work might relate to it. I additionally got here up with a brief listing of questions I needed to know extra about, just like the collaboration fashion of the group and the way previous internships had labored out.

What was it like whenever you joined full-time?

It took me a very long time to seek out my footing! With so many thrilling initiatives happening and good folks to speak to, working at DeepMind usually looks like being a child on the earth’s best sweet retailer. For interns, growing and specializing in only one mission out of so many is difficult, particularly inside a restricted timespan. This was a problem I discovered in my very own internship, and these days I get pleasure from supporting new starters via this course of who’re experiencing the identical pleasure for the primary time.

Why did you become involved with the internship programme as a full-time worker?

Having gone via the internship expertise myself, I can relate to what our aspiring and present interns undergo. It may be nerve wracking, thrilling, complicated, and provoking, all on the similar time. After receiving a lot help throughout my internship, I needed to present that very same help to future interns. Consequently, I now coordinate my group’s internship programme and am in a number of teams which constantly search to enhance the programme throughout DeepMind. I additionally interview, mentor, and handle interns, in addition to spend time reaching out and speaking to potential candidates (e.g. at GraceHopper, NeurIPSand analysis talks).

What kind of labor do interns do?

It’s at all times thrilling to see what interns resolve to pursue throughout their time with us. On my group (Recreation Idea and Multi-Agent), we work intently with interns to co-develop initiatives which they will make their very own, and this has led to an unimaginable vary of initiatives over time.

To focus on just some public examples, interns have designed new multi-agent environments (e.g. impressed by the social deduction game Among Us and assembly lines), developed infrastructure for studying human-agent interactionused cooperative sport idea for language models and negotiating team formationlabored on multi-agent inverse reinforcement learning, uncovered adversarial examples for reinforcement learning, mastered the game of Strategoand utilized evolutionary game theory to online learning.

How would you describe the tradition at DeepMind? And your group?

In brief – type and collaborative. Through the years, I’ve heard dozens of interns and new starters make the identical comment: “I can’t believe how friendly and supportive everyone is!”. The period of time, power, and help that DeepMinders give one another is outstanding, and this extends all the way in which from firm veterans to first-day new starters. Everyone seems to be at all times glad to seize a espresso to speak, talk about their work, share suggestions, and companion collectively on initiatives.

For example, one in every of my favorite initiatives at DeepMind (Learning Robust Real-Time Cultural Transmission without Human Data), got here from the shut collaboration between artists, designers, ethicists, program managers, QA testers, scientists, software program engineers, analysis engineers, and extra over two years. This numerous and collaborative tradition additionally extends to our internships, with intern initiatives sometimes involving a number of collaborators and advisors from throughout the corporate (spanning roles, groups, and even workplaces!). For instance, a number of of our interns on the Recreation Idea and Multi-Agent group work intently with DeepMinders from each the London and Paris workplaces.

From left to proper, a subset of the mission’s authors: Ashley Edwards (RS, London), Miruna Pislar (RE, Paris), Kory Mathewson (RS, Montreal), Alexander Zacherl (Designer, London), Richard Everett (RS; London), Edward Hughes (RE, London), Avishkar Bhoopchand (RE, London).

Any suggestions for aspiring DeepMind interns?

For college kids who’re getting all for AI, there are a great deal of simply accessible resources out there so that you can independently be taught extra in regards to the business and DeepMind: from papers, blog postsand talks to open-source code, demos, and tutorials. It’s simpler than ever to get caught in! You may as well become involved in workshops and conferences, a lot of which supply scholar reductions and mentorship alternatives (e.g. Deep Learning Indaba, Cooperative AI). For me, I discovered my love of AI analysis by speaking to professors about their analysis in-between courses, engaged on initiatives with them, after which reaching out to different researchers within the areas that excited me.

DeepMind is made up of type, collaborative, and pushed folks from all walks of life, and our internship programme displays that. Whether or not you’re an undergraduate or PhD scholar, finding out a technical, bodily, or social sciences topic, and have AI/ML expertise or not, there’s doubtless an internship alternative for you. We provide internships throughout varied groups in Analysis, Engineering, Science, Ethics & Society, and Operations.

Having gone via the method myself (twice even), I can utterly perceive and relate to how intimidating it may be to use. I’ve spoken to so many extremely gifted college students who incorrectly consider that DeepMind is out of attain or that their abilities are inadequate, and subsequently don’t even apply. In case you are contemplating making use of for an internship, my real recommendation for you is to only do it. You don’t have anything to lose, and maybe each you and DeepMind have quite a bit to realize.

Date: 2022-09-07 20:00:00

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Alina A, Toronto
Alina A, Toronto
Alina A, an UofT graduate & Google Certified Cyber Security analyst, currently based in Toronto, Canada. She is passionate for Research and to write about Cyber-security related issues, trends and concerns in an emerging digital world.


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