me

I’m Robert Kirk, a PhD Student at UCL DARK Lab in the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence supervised by Tim Rocktäschel. I’m an aspiring effective altruist and rationalist. I’m interested in reinforcement learning, meta learning, natural language processing, interpretability and deep learning (and all the combinations thereof).

Before that, I worked for Smarkets, a sports and politics betting exchange, as an infrastructure and software engineer for two years. For the first year and a half I worked as a software engineering in a team developing python micro-services, and then I moved to join the infrastructure team.

Before that I studied for four years at Somerville college, University of Oxford, for an integrated masters in mathematics and computer science. Up until the fourth year I maintained a 50/50 split between the two subjects, and in the fourth year I focused more on abstract computer science. I did my masters thesis on implementing the comonadic formulation of pebble games in Idris supervised by Samson Abramsky.

I write for the Alignment Newsletter, mostly on the topics of interpretability and reinforcement learning. Originally formed as part of AI Safety Research Program, I’m collaborating with a small group of fellow independent researchers on interpretability, both doing technical research and thinking about how interpretability helps AI alignment.

Other than technical things, I’m interested in rationality, neuroscience, cooking, videogames, music (basically any genre), and reading. I sing in a choir and previously played the French horn.

This site is a place where I’ll share my thoughts on all of these topics and possibly more, but the content will mostly be technical AI and AI safety related.