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My journey from DeepMind intern to mentor

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

What was your path to DeepMind?

Like many individuals, I cherished taking part in 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 standard (however not unique!) pathway into the trade. Nonetheless, after engaged on a number of analysis tasks with my professors, I developed a style for analysis and determined to proceed on in 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 rapidly 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 suggestion. 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 supply 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. In the present day’s interns can anticipate your entire 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 fascinated with working with, and was fortunate sufficient to talk with them after my technical interview. I used to be so excited. This was a novel alternative to speak about my previous work and brainstorm potential internship tasks 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 sources 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 buildings. I additionally practised some coding workout routines the place I attempted to speak via what I used to be doing. 

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

What was it like while you joined full-time?  

It took me a very long time to seek out my footing! With so many thrilling tasks occurring and good individuals to speak to, working at DeepMind usually looks like being a child on this planet’s best sweet retailer. For interns, growing and specializing in only one venture 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 take pleasure in supporting new starters via this course of who’re experiencing the identical pleasure for the primary time.

Why did you get entangled 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 galvanizing, all on the similar time. After receiving a lot help throughout my internship, I wished to offer that very same help to future interns. Because of this, 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, NeurIPS, and analysis talks).

What kind of labor do interns do?

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

To focus on just some public examples, interns have designed new multi-agent environments (e.g. impressed by the social deduction recreation Amongst Us and meeting traces), developed infrastructure for learning human-agent interplay, used cooperative recreation principle for language fashions and negotiating group formation, labored on multi-agent inverse reinforcement studying, uncovered adversarial examples for reinforcement studying, mastered the sport of Stratego, and utilized evolutionary recreation principle to on-line studying.

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

Briefly – variety and collaborative. Over time, I’ve heard dozens of interns and new starters make the identical comment: “I can’t imagine how pleasant and supportive everyone seems to be!”. The period of time, vitality, and help that DeepMinders give one another is outstanding, and this extends all the best way from firm veterans to first-day new starters. Everyone seems to be all the time blissful to seize a espresso to speak, focus on their work, share suggestions, and associate collectively on tasks.

For example, considered one of my favorite tasks at DeepMind (Studying Sturdy Actual-Time Cultural Transmission with out Human Knowledge), 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 tasks usually involving a number of collaborators and advisors from throughout the corporate (spanning roles, groups, and even places of work!). For instance, a number of of our interns on the Sport Idea and Multi-Agent group work intently with DeepMinders from each the London and Paris places of work.

From left to proper, a subset of the venture’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 ideas for aspiring DeepMind interns?

For college kids who’re getting fascinated with AI, there are a great deal of simply accessible sources out there so that you can independently be taught extra concerning the trade and DeepMind: from papers, weblog posts, and talks to open-source code, demos, and tutorials. It’s simpler than ever to get caught in! You may also get entangled in workshops and conferences, a lot of which provide pupil reductions and mentorship alternatives (e.g. Deep Studying Indaba, Cooperative AI). For me, I discovered my love of AI analysis by speaking to professors about their analysis in-between lessons, engaged on tasks with them, after which reaching out to different researchers within the areas that excited me.

DeepMind is made up of variety, collaborative, and pushed individuals from all walks of life, and our internship programme displays that. Whether or not you’re an undergraduate or PhD pupil, learning a technical, bodily, or social sciences topic, and have AI/ML expertise or not, there may be seemingly an internship alternative for you. We provide internships throughout numerous groups in Analysis, Engineering, Science, Ethics & Society, and Operations.

Having gone via the method myself (twice even), I can fully perceive and relate to how intimidating it may be to use. I’ve spoken to so many extremely proficient college students who incorrectly imagine that DeepMind is out of attain or that their expertise are inadequate, and due to this fact don’t even apply. In case you are contemplating making use of for an internship, my real recommendation for you is to simply do it. You don’t have anything to lose, and maybe each you and DeepMind have loads to achieve. 



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