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 data.

What was your path to DeepMind?

Like many individuals, I liked 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 laptop science; a typical (however not unique!) pathway into the business. Nevertheless, after engaged on a number of analysis initiatives 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 regarded 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. Nevertheless, having met a bunch of nice researchers I made a decision to reapply the next 12 months and acquired 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 by the identical expertise.

Are you able to describe the internship interview course of?

The interview course of was thorough, but it surely’s advanced since I utilized. At present’s interns can anticipate your entire course of to final only a few months, which features a technical and a staff interview. In my software, I listed the researchers that I used to be notably interested by 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 have been extremely useful in guiding me by 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 laptop science. For instance, reviewing linear algebra, calculus, likelihood, algorithms, and knowledge buildings. I additionally practised some coding workouts the place I attempted to speak by what I used to be doing. 

For the staff interviews, I reviewed the staff’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 checklist of questions I wished to know extra about, just like the collaboration type of the staff and the way previous internships had labored out.

What was it like once you joined full-time?  

It took me a very long time to seek out my footing! With so many thrilling initiatives happening and good individuals to speak to, working at DeepMind typically appears like being a child on the planet’s biggest 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 by 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 by 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 assist throughout my internship, I wished to present that very same assist to future interns. In consequence, I now coordinate my staff’s internship programme and am in a number of teams which repeatedly 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 at all times thrilling to see what interns resolve to pursue throughout their time with us. On my staff (Sport Idea and Multi-Agent), we work carefully with interns to co-develop initiatives which they’ll make their very own, and this has led to an unbelievable vary of initiatives through the years. 

To focus on only a few public examples, interns have designed new multi-agent environments (e.g. impressed by the social deduction recreation Amongst Us and meeting strains), developed infrastructure for finding out human-agent interplay, used cooperative recreation principle for language fashions and negotiating staff 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 staff?

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

For instance, one in all my favorite initiatives at DeepMind (Studying Sturdy Actual-Time Cultural Transmission with out Human Information), 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 various and collaborative tradition additionally extends to our internships, with intern initiatives 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 staff work carefully 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 suggestions for aspiring DeepMind interns?

For college students who’re getting interested by AI, there are a great deal of simply accessible sources obtainable so that you can independently be taught extra in regards to the business 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 can even get entangled in workshops and conferences, lots of which supply 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 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 individuals from all walks of life, and our internship programme displays that. Whether or not you’re an undergraduate or PhD pupil, finding out a technical, bodily, or social sciences topic, and have AI/ML expertise or not, there’s seemingly an internship alternative for you. We provide internships throughout varied groups in Analysis, Engineering, Science, Ethics & Society, and Operations.

Having gone by 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 proficient college students who incorrectly consider that DeepMind is out of attain or that their abilities 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 lots to achieve. 

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