Senior AI Research Scientist
The Earth Species Project (ESP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to decoding animal communication and translating non-human language.
ESP partners with biologists and machine learning researchers at universities and institutions around the world and we are honored to be supported by many forward-looking philanthropists and groups, including the Internet Archive, TED Audacious 2020, and the entrepreneur and author Reid Hoffman.
Our work has been featured on NPR's Invisibilia documentary, “Two Heart Beats a Minute,” “How to Talk to Animals” in Wall Street Journal’s The Future of Everything, “The Challenges of Animal Translation” in the New Yorker, published in Scientific Reports, and was honored at the inaugural Anthem Awards.
We aim to enable every person to more deeply understand our co-inhabitants on Earth and in doing so, to permanently alter human perspective and culture.
Purpose of role
You will join an incredible and global remote team, and will be responsible for developing pioneering research towards decoding and translating non-human communication, including extending unsupervised translation techniques and tackling cornerstone biological and computational problems on large-scale multimodal behavioral datasets.
You will work with biology and machine learning experts to create understanding from new scopes and scales of data.
Senior AI Research Scientists are responsible for developing and applying techniques in machine learning, bioacoustics, and ethology, disseminating their work in both scientific publications, and collaborating on these efforts with other members of the AI team as well as with external biology partners. In addition to your scientific work, you will be responsible for communicating your results with the team at ESP, as well as with the general public through non-technical publications such as blog posts. As ESP is still a growing team, you will have the ability to help shape our long-term research agenda.
You will have flexibility in the research that you conduct towards ESP’s mission to decode non-human communication. We offer plenty of GPU resources (including A100s) enough for training large ML models.
Previous and ongoing research projects include:
- End-to-end source separation (i.e., separating simultaneous sound sources in an audio recording into individual tracks) and noise reduction for challenging bioacoustic data
- Use of self-supervised techniques to describe the vocal and behavioral repertoires of different animal species
- Developing generative models for vocalization generation and editing
- Developing large foundation models for application in bioacoustics
You will work with partners at various institutions including Cornell University, University of Oxford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Santa Cruz, University of St. Andrews, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Internet Archive, and the Jane Goodall Institute.
We are a fully remote team and you can be located anywhere in the world. This provides a good amount of flexibility, but you will occasionally be expected to participate in virtual meetings outside of typical working hours in your time zone. Additionally, you must have the willingness to travel internationally (<20%) for events and in-person team gatherings.
We are open to traditional and non-traditional backgrounds.
Your areas of expertise might include: machine learning (deep learning, self-supervised learning, generative models, multimodal learning), natural language processing (unsupervised machine translation, language models), (computational) linguistics, bioacoustics, signal processing, data science, statistics, physics, or mathematics.
Additionally, you have experience in the following:
- Research: You have conducted or led research projects, your work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and/or you’ve presented at scientific conferences
- Machine learning: You have a solid understanding of machine learning, math, statistics, probability theory, and computer science
- Programming: You have skills in Python and deep learning frameworks (e.g., PyTorch or Tensorflow)
You might play a musical instrument, do long-distance running, enjoy teaching, knitting, wilderness trekking, or are an incredible parent. We’re excited about full human beings (and remain open to applications by qualified non-primates).
Essential Personality Qualities
- Passion for ESP’s research areas of focus
- Desire to advance the fields of biology and artificial intelligence
- Good communicator, writer, and listener
- Team player who enjoys collaboration and working with others
- Openness to feedback, willingness to learn, and curiosity
- Creativity in your approach to problem solving
- Competitive pay
- Medical insurance (you will have two plans to choose from), dental insurance, and vision insurance - ESP covers 100% of the premium
- 401k plan with match (if based in the United States)
- $4,000 home office stipend
- Unlimited paid time off, with a recommended minimum of three weeks per year
- Flexible working hours
- Collaborations with top biologists and conservation institutions in the field of behavioral ecology
- Opportunity to observe and participate in data collection - previous research includes bioacoustic and behavioral ecology fieldwork in Alaska, Monterey Bay in California, and the Congo rainforest
- Biannual team retreats around the world
The Earth Species Project is a fully remote team and our goal is to make a global and social impact. Creating a culture where all can thrive and be our authentic selves is essential to our mission. We believe our success depends on our diversity and fostering an inclusive environment that supports creativity and innovation. As an organization we are committed to promoting equity and belonging in our work.
We are committed to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, and criminal history, consistent with legal requirements. We encourage folks of all backgrounds and perspectives to apply.
If you require any accommodations, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work with you to meet your accessibility needs.
Please submit your application as soon as possible. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The position will remain posted on Earth Species Project’s website until it is filled.
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