As researcher at Ought, you invent and test new schemes for distributed and automated deliberation, building on the state of the art in machine learning.

Your primary focus is on conceptual work: you synthesize the current state of the field and come up with new systems that might plausibly help support people's thinking, and with hypotheses worth testing.

For example, you should be able to come up with ideas along the lines of this one, this one, this one, and this one.

You work closely with our engineers to guide the implementation of your ideas.

About you


  • Excellent computer science knowledge
  • Advanced knowledge of AI and machine learning
  • Strong evidence of ability to do innovative research
  • Clear, well-reasoned, and engaging writing
  • Fluent written and spoken English

Good to have:

  • Publications in machine learning, crowdsourcing, or HCI
  • Experience with probabilistic generative models
  • Strong mathematical background
  • Strong applied programming skills
  • Experience using Git, pull requests, and code reviews


  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • 20 days of paid vacation per year (in addition to national holidays)
  • Modern workspaces, with funds available for equipment of your choice
  • Relocation assistance
  • Flexible hours
  • Paid travel to conferences


  • A good way for you and us to figure out if Ought is good fit for you is to do a paid three-month trial period as a contractor before you start full-time. If this sounds interesting to you, check the corresponding box on your application.
  • We prefer applicants who can work on site, but will consider remote work for exceptional candidates, including internationally.
  • Take into account that we're a new organization. You will have unusually large leverage and room for growth, including the potential to manage other employees and contractors in the future, but you'll also need more initiative than at an established company and you'll wear many hats.
  • We're a non-profit. This means that we'll pay somewhat below Bay area market rate, and that this position is best suited for someone who deeply cares about our mission.
  • Not sure which position to apply for? Just pick one for now, add a note on alternatives you're considering, and we'll discuss.

EEO & Employment Eligibility

Ought is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, disability status, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

About Ought

Ought is a non-profit research organization. Our mission is to leverage machine learning to help people think. Our office is in San Francisco (North Beach), next to Washington Square.


If you prefer to mostly work on front-end code and want to lead user interface development at Ought, consider this position.
If you have a strong CS background, prefer to design modular back-end architectures, and want to apply machine learning algorithms to building tools for thought, consider this position.