Generally Intelligent

Software Engineer (Contract)

Contract in San Francisco, CA - Remote OK


We started Generally Intelligent because we believe that software with human-level intelligence will have a transformative impact on the world. We’re dedicated to ensuring that that impact is a positive one.

We have enough funding to last for decades, and our backers include Y Combinator, researchers from OpenAI, Lightspeed, Threshold, and many others.

This role is about creating robust, well-engineered systems to support research into the fundamentals of intelligence and understanding, and helping to open source these tools so that other machine learning practitioners can take advantage of them as well.

About the role

  • You will work directly with one of our researchers, helping them to make more progress than they could on their own. This allows the two of you to find a working style that works great for both of you, whether that’s frequent pairing, where you can go off and finish blocking tasks that come up, or by working from top to bottom through a list of well defined tasks in Asana, where you can spend most of your time working independently and only sync when necessary.

  • You will work on a wide variety of tasks that are scoped to your interests and abilities. The types of tasks we have range from infrastructure and code clean up to open source and machine learning.

  • You will be free to work whatever hours work best for you, using whatever tools you’re most comfortable with.

  • You will be free from any other responsibilities beyond creating software. For this role there is no need to attend meetings, participate in activities outside of work, or anything else really. It’s just about helping your researcher by creating great software

Example tasks

  • Open sourcing our internal tool which allows using your own editor (vim, pycharm, etc) to type into (and run) jupyter notebook cells.

  • Creating visualizations to understand the performance of a particular network on a particular dataset.

  • Tracking down a difficult bug that can cause a CUDA multi-process server to randomly hang

  • Developing linters and tools to programmatically enforce code quality.

  • Making a system of regression tests that back-test new models on old datasets, or ensure that data generation code still generates bitwise identical outputs.

  • Creating automated tools to detect and prevent common issues with neural network training (e.g. overfitting, vanishing gradients, dead ReLUs, etc).

  • Extending our simulator to create new experimental settings and datasets.

About you

  • You are a highly talented software engineer who is comfortable working independently. We recognize that not all great software engineers are excited about the level of commitment that our full-time roles require, and we are happy to work with talented individuals who want more work-life balance.

  • You are interested in doing software engineering, and uninterested in attending meetings, talking about strategy, or much of the other work that often surrounds software engineering. You’re happiest when you have the context you need to write good software and are otherwise left alone.

  • You are excited about working on open source code, building high quality software, and following software engineering best practices.

About us

  • We believe in working with the absolute best people in the world (which is why we pay top of market)

  • We believe that it is possible to do great software engineering work without requiring that everyone involved be best friends, and make their job into their whole life, but that doing machine learning research really does require a lot more in terms of communication and closer personal relationships (which is why our machine learning research team is fully in person, but we’re able to support remote members via this role)

  • We believe that great software engineering talent comes in many shapes and colors and from many backgrounds and with many different demands on their time

  • We believe in building strong relationships (which is why this role is set up to be a direct relationship between you and a single one of our researchers, so that you can build a great working relationship)

How to apply

All submissions are reviewed by a person, so we encourage you to include a cover letter. If you have any work that you can showcase (open source code, a research paper, a side project, etc), you should certainly include it!

We try to reply either way within a week or two at most (usually much sooner).

We know that talent comes from many backgrounds, and with many different skills and preferences. That’s why we have a hiring process that gives you the ability to showcase yourself in a variety of different ways, depending on what feels best for you.