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Distinguished Scientist, Artificial Intelligence & Large Language Models

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Software Engineering
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2023

The Foundation

We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.

The Team

As part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Institute for Disease Modeling’s (IDM) mission is to support global efforts to eradicate infectious diseases and achieve permanent improvements in health by developing, using, and sharing computational modeling tools and promoting quantitative decision-making. The IDM team is composed of research scientists and software developers who develop and prototype computational tools to advise on global health and development policy and identify and address critical knowledge gaps. IDM is a multifaceted organization with a work environment defined by innovation and teamwork. As part of our work, we routinely collaborate with groups at the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the Centers for Disease Control, PATH, ministries of health, as well as universities and research institutes across the globe.

*This is a limited-term position for 18 months based in Seattle, WA (noting flexible work arrangements, including change in duration, location, and framing are possible depending on candidate’s professional background, commitments, and duties).

Your Role

Joining the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides unique opportunities to work with global-health policymakers, to collaborate with world-class researchers and non-profit organizations, and to help to save and improve the lives of people around the world. We are committed to enabling and accelerating the robust use of artificial intelligence and language models for positive and lasting change in global health and development. In the next years, we will be funding, guiding, and informing the deployment of these new technologies in high need areas to achieve lasting impact, doing it with care and celerity, and working with and learning from local perspectives.

We seek a Distinguished Scientist with exceptional experience in artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLM) to join our team and work on adapting and translating advances in artificial intelligence and large language models into impact for underserved and vulnerable populations.

You will provide key expertise regarding the successful strategy development of AI initiatives at the foundation. You will be responsible for developing relationships with academic groups and industry partners, convening expert groups to work and advise on strategic initiatives and investments. You will be collaborating with topic experts, field partners, and in-country policy makers so they can build the right solutions to their most important problems. You will leverage your field knowledge for cross-cutting impact: advising colleagues on their LLM projects, evaluating project proposals, informing investments, presenting on advances and tools in the field, and collaborating with a diverse set of colleagues at IDM and across the Foundation to go rapidly from idea to prototype that can be tested and iterated upon. You will approach difficult problems with optimism, creativity, expertise, and a willingness to lead and learn. Additionally, you will:

What You’ll Do

  • Develop strategic AI initiatives at the foundation

  • Provide thoughtful business leadership and work collaboratively to develop and advance short and long-term goals, priorities, and strategies for the AI initiatives

  • Provide subject matter expertise, strategic counsel and operational insights to the AI and LLM efforts across the foundation.

  • Establish trusted relationships with internal/external entities, such as academic institutions and industry, to drive discussions and provide strategic guidance related to their AI business objectives

  • Collaborate with topic experts, field partners, and in-country policy makers to build the right solutions to their most important problems.

  • Envision innovative framings of problems to simplify work and cut to essential issues.

  • Identify knowledge or data gaps in settings in which we work and propose solutions.

  • Clearly communicate sophisticated methods to diverse audiences

Your Experience

  • PhD in machine learning, natural language processing, or computational linguistics, with 15 years of professional experience.

  • Recognized as an expert within and outside of the organization in the field of artificial intelligence.

  • Demonstrable strong ties to industry applications, including technology startups, established affiliate positions within corporation such as Microsoft Research, Nvidia, Amazon, or Google

  • Track record of scientific, peer-reviewed publications including publications in a top-tier ML/NLP conference (e.g., ACL, NAACL, EMNLP, NeurIPS, ICML), and/or patented inventions

  • Strong ability to think of projects at the multi-year scale, while also engaging with rapidly moving projects and flexible explorations

  • Proficiency in writing code for DL/ML/AI applications, i.e., Python, PyTorch, Tensorflow, Java, JAX, etc.

  • Moderate experience working effectively with large, complex, real-world data

  • Experience with prototyping innovative solutions to demonstrate what is possible in a rapidly evolving area

  • Experience with the open-source AI community for deep learning and large language models

  • Demonstrated ability to be adaptable to changing technologies, to working on a diverse set of use cases, to working with different types of partners, and in different settings.

  • Knowledge of disease control and public health issues in low-income countries is a plus.

The typical salary range for this role is $224,700 to $397,700 USD. The exact offer will be determined by a variety of factors such as the candidate’s individual skills, qualifications, and experience relative to the requirements of the role.

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Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Candidate Accommodations

If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.

Inclusion Statement

We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.