Hey everyone. I am an undergrad student right now and for the past year or so, I have been greatly interested in AI safety and AI technical research. I have read a lot of papers and done some ML research on robustness and security. I believe I have a fair understanding of ML and AI to start diving deep into the AI technical research landscape. However, I have been applying to a lot of the fellowships, summer research positions everywhere but I have been rejected from every single one. I am unable to understand whether my experience is not right even for getting started in the field or there is something wrong with my approach. I would love to hear your opinions and responses.




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I wouldn't be disheartened. I have considerable experience in AI safety and my current role has me advising decision-makers in the topic in major tech organisations. I've had my work cited by politicians in parliament twice last year.

I've also been rejected for every single AI Safety fellowship or scholarship that I've ever applied for. That's every advertised one, every single year, for at least 5 years. My last rejection, actually, was on March 4th (so a week ago!). A 0% success rate, baby!

Rejected doesn't mean you're bad. It's just that there's maybe a dozen places for well over a thousand people, and remember these places have a certain goal in mind so you could be the perfect candidate but at the wrong career stage, or location, or suchlike.

I'd say keep applying, but also apply outside the EA sphere. Don't pigeonhole yourself. As others mentioned, keep developing skills but I'd also add that you may never get accepted and that's okay. It's not a linear progression where you have to get one of these opportunities before you make impact. Check out other branches.

Inbox me if you feel you need more personal direction, happy to help :)

Good on you for being so helpful ❤️

Sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, AI Safety opportunities are very competitive.

You may want to develop your skills outside of the AI safety community and apply to AI Safety opportunities again further down the track when you're more competitive.

Consider joining hackathons such as the ones organized by Apart Research. Anyone can join and get to work on problems directly related to AI Safety.

If you do a good project, you can put that on your resume and have something to speak about at your next interview.

You'd likely get much more helpful responses if you state what exactly you applied for, what stage you reached, and (if rejected at screening phase) your CV

Have you considered reaching out to 80,000 hours for career coaching? 

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