Allen Institute for AI Reviews

Updated Apr 28, 2021

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Allen Institute for AI CEO Oren Etzioni (no image)
Oren Etzioni
38 Ratings
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Great place

    Apr 28, 2021 - Research Scientist 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Really Great place to work.

    Cons

    No cons come to mind.

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  2. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Work, learn, and grow with world experts

    Nov 1, 2020 - Senior Research Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The Allen Institute for AI (AI2) really is a special place to work. It offers a unique opportunity to work with some of the world's best in natural language processing, computer vision, and artificial intelligence. AI2 has a strong culture of learning and no matter what role you have here, you'll find yourself growing everyday. I held roles in both engineering and research and always found this to be true. For researchers: AI2 provides an unparalleled environment for magnifying the impact of your work. Creating a dataset? Launch a leaderboard! Building a new model? Make a demo! The software, infrastructure, and colleagues available to you at AI2 supports, encourages, and makes it incredibly easy to go the extra mile with your work. For engineers: AI2 offers the opportunity to tackle interesting problems at a scale where every engineer counts. You'll directly see the impact of the work you do: building products, running services, supporting research. In addition, you'll get regular exposure to the cutting edge of AI, as well as amazing engineering colleagues. Since the institute is a nonprofit driven by its mission (AI for the common good), the organization's goals align well with what I've often found motivates myself and other passionate engineers: wanting to build things that help people.

    Cons

    It's not quite a con, but important to be aware of: AI2 is a highly collaborative organization which plans its work around central themes and goals. AI2 takes a mission-driven approach to setting research directions, organizing its efforts around the different projects (Aristo, Semantic Scholar, Mosaic, etc). To be successful here, you must be excited to contribute to the long term goals represented by these projects. You should be able to shape your work around these big picture visions.

    2 people found this review helpful
  3. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Great place to work as a researcher

    Jan 26, 2021 - NLP Researcher in Seattle, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Collaborative, intellectually curious environment Research freedom Great office, free lunches, etc.

    Cons

    Unstructured environment could be a con for some people

    1 person found this review helpful
  4. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    A wonderful post-undergraduate position

    Sep 5, 2020 - Predoctoral Young Investigator 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    For undergraduates who (like me) are interested in research about applications of machine learning to NLP and computer vision, it is difficult to imagine a better position than the PYI program at AI2. There is a great deal of freedom with respect to research topics, ample computing and data annotation resources, and great access to highly competent senior researchers and even faculty members at leading academic institutions. You are encouraged to publish your research, which is helpful both for graduate admissions and (potentially) for industry jobs. AI2 has many great benefits like other tech employers, including paid conference expenses when you have published your work.

    Cons

    Perhaps one con is that there is not necessarily a clear path of advancement within AI2 at the conclusion of the PYI program (as far as I can tell). However, the duration of the PYI program is flexible, which is very nice.

    1 person found this review helpful
  5. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Excellent place to do research

    Nov 14, 2020 - Young Investigator in Seattle, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Open collaborative environment, hardworking and smart people, and a culture of wanting to improve itself, including changing its culture for the better.

    Cons

    High pressure environment; not for those who struggle with work-life balance

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    1 person found this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Former Employee

    Sumer Analyst - Investment Banking

    Oct 11, 2020 - Intern 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Good training and positive culture

    Cons

    Things can be slow for interns depending on deal flow

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  7. 5.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Enjoyable and Educational

    Jun 6, 2020 - Entrepreneur In Residence in Seattle, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I loved my experience at AI2 and learned so much from the great folks that work there. The strength of the AI2 community was evident quickly. I got to experience the generosity and curiosity with which everyone does their jobs and had the pleasure of meeting and eating with a large number of folks from across AI2, which was an enriching and enjoyable experience.

    Cons

    With so many different projects going on all at once I can be hard to keep up with everything; which is also whats exciting about it.

    1 person found this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Great place to build an AI focused startup

    Mar 6, 2019 - Entrepreneur In Residence in Seattle, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    If you are interested in productizing the latest in academic AI research, this couldn't be a better place to build your company. The people who work here are dedicated, sharp, and ready to collaborate. As a founder, you have access to incredibly talented researchers and engineers; a direct line to major customers because of AI2 and Vulcan's relationships; and ready intros to top tier investors when it's time to raise. The incubator also provides some seed funding, large credits on multiple cloud platforms, and depending on various factors, benefits for those looking for a gentler introduction to startups. The leadership is dedicated to helping their founders succeed, and it shows in the efforts that they put into each startup. And all this is a good deal for founders: AI2's equity/comp setup is reasonable, and worth the acceleration and de-risking it provides.

    Cons

    There have been some bumps and growing pains as the incubator has worked through operational details (it's only 1.5ish years old), e.g. who to invite as CEO/CTO residents, how to structure equity/comp, and even how to house everyone as teams get successful and start to grow. Most have been resolved or are in the process, but understand that the incubator itself is a "startup" and figuring some things out. Finally, not a con per se, but worth noting: if you're not a self-starter and can't drive towards goals on your own, you will not thrive here, and will likely be frustrated. Don't mistake this for a startup-on-rails program that will deliver you to a successful product and business. Recognize that it's a place with great resources at your disposal, but only if you are able to take full advantage of them.

    1 person found this review helpful
  9. 4.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Inspirational work, brilliant co-workers.

    Aug 18, 2020 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The people. Brilliant, generally very friendly, and full of stimulating conversation.

    Cons

    Atmosphere and office can be a a little boring or dry.

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  10. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Mission Driven, Smart, Collegial people make this a great place to innovate.

    Oct 31, 2019 - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The Allen Institute for AI (AI2) combines the best aspects of a high-flying tech startup and a top research institute. With a mission to create AI for the common good, everyone at AI2 is smart and engaged in projects that use groundbreaking AI research to solve big problems. Because we are focused on impact, there is also a drive toward concrete and measurable outcomes for our work, and a sense of urgency to move as quickly as possible to solve problems. The culture is collaborative and humble. It's a unique place.

    Cons

    As a small team, processes are scrappy, without some of the structure you might expect at a larger established tech company.

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    1 person found this review helpful
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