Allen Institute for AI Reviews | Glassdoor

Allen Institute for AI Reviews

Updated Oct 31, 2019

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4.9
97%
Recommend to a Friend
96%
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Allen Institute for AI CEO Oren Etzioni (no image)
Oren Etzioni
33 Ratings
  1. "Mission Driven, Smart, Collegial people make this a great place to innovate."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time for more than a year

    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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    Allen Institute for AI2019-10-31
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great work, Great place, Great perks!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Hands down the best team I've ever been part of. Smart, driven, passionate, curious, and engaged people and an environment where ideas, big and small, come from anyone. Strong leadership and a culture of transparency. Catered lunch 4x week, regular, notable guest lectures, top-notch company events and celebration and recognition of achievements. Beautiful location near Gas Works Park with an awesome rooftop. Directly off of the Burke-Gilman Trail. I genuinely love coming to work, feel challenged by the work I do, and enjoy the company of my colleagues.

    Cons

    Location is a bit removed from public transportation and restaurants.

    Allen Institute for AI2019-09-30
  3. Helpful (3)

    "Great place for entrepreneurs!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Technology Officer In Residence in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The AI2 incubator is the best kept “secret" in Seattle. If you are an engineer or a researcher with an entrepreneurial drive, the Incubator offers you invaluable resources for building a startup. Founders and early stage companies in the incubator gain access to (1) an ecosystem of incredibly talented researchers and engineers who are ready to collaborate, (2) an extensive network of partners and prospective customers through the AI2/Vulcan connections and (3) an equally strong network of VCs/angels who have a long-running relationship with the Incubator. For somebody who is building a startup whose products are powered by AI, there is no better brand in Seattle than AI2 to associate yourself with. The leadership team consists of serial entrepreneurs who are approachable and dedicated to the success of each founder. The incubator has a reasonable equity/comp structure that is founder-centric and optimized for long term success. Moreover, the incubator can provide early-stage funding, cloud compute credits, beautiful space near Gas Works Park … and lunch three times a week.

    Cons

    There are two caveats to be aware of: (1) The incubator is a young institution, therefore expect things to be in flux (2) The incubator is not a startup studio; residents are expected to operate at a level of autonomy and to be self-starters

    Allen Institute for AI2019-03-08
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to do AI research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It's great to do research at AI2. I'm very fortunate to be able to learn from world-class researchers and engineers here. And the level of teamwork at AI2 is special---unlike for example the academic research environment, which involves more individual work, AI2 is built around teams of researchers and engineers working closely together to solve big AI challenges.

    Cons

    The office is hard to get to via public transportation, and the style of close collaboration on big initiatives will be thrilling for some but is not for everyone.

    Allen Institute for AI2019-03-08
  5. Helpful (1)

    "A great place to solve tough AI problems and spin off AI companies"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Technology Officer In Residence in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Open and collaborative environment with some of the brightest people in industry doing very impactful work. Fairly flat organization with a lot of transparency. Leadership that is strategic and great at providing the perfect amount of support. The incubator specifically is a great place for previous entrepreneurs and people who want to be come entrepreneurs to enter the start up world. The support offered (financial, strategic, networking, technical and more) drastically increases the chances of success for the incubated companies.

    Cons

    None that I can think of.

    Allen Institute for AI2019-03-07
  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to build an AI focused startup"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Entrepreneur In Residence in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time for less than a year

    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.

    Allen Institute for AI2019-03-07
  7. "Fantastic Company to Work For!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time

    Pros

    Interesting, intelligent group of people that are a pleasure to work with! Management (including the CEO) are easily accessible and are genuinely interested in employees’ well-being. The company size allows for a personalized work environment, and the office itself is comfortable and modern, with gorgeous views of Lake Union and the Seattle skyline.

    Cons

    Minor con - there aren’t any restaurants or cafes nearby; most are solid 15 min walk away. But, lunch is catered 3x a week, and the kitchen is stocked with a huge variety of snacks. Plus, being slightly removed from the heart of Fremont comes with a big perk - convenient, free parking.

    Allen Institute for AI2018-12-21
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great place for research, but a few things could be improved"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time

    Pros

    Generous bonuses at the start of every year. Pay for researchers is better than average, I would say. Smallness of the company means that your talent and hard work are usually noticed and eventually rewarded. CEO is approachable and seems genuinely invested in the research everyone is doing. He also seems to be taking steps to ensure that the organization does more to recruit a diverse slate of researchers, which is encouraging. Fairly generous funding available for research tools, conferences, professional memberships, and tuition reimbursement (up to $7500 a year for full time employees). A remarkably friendly and in many cases renowned group of AI professionals to work with. If you want to work with some of the best, you can do it here.

    Cons

    Location is crowded and kind of remote, so commuting can be difficult. Unclear why we are not in a more spacious building with nearby bus lines, other than the fact that the CEO likes our building. There does not seem to be much concern with what employees think of the location, other than pep talks about how we are going to fix the space constraints but not leave. There is so much turnover in the administrative staff (HR and facilities especially) that it can be hard to figure out who to go to for support or questions. Hiring or retention process for AO staff seems to need improvement. Paid time off is better than Amazon (12 days to start for full time employees, plus 4 floating holidays and 10 days sick time), but otherwise not that competitive with other AI companies. Very few women in the company, and almost none working as managers. Discouraging for those of us who like a more diverse workplace. The CEO seemingly has to approve every hiring decision, which only adds to a pretty inefficient recruitment process.

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    Allen Institute for AI2018-10-27
  9. "A unique blend of research and engineering"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time

    Pros

    * Collaborative teams that are passionate about their work. * A business that has clear goals but without a for-profit motive. * Unlimited walnuts.

    Cons

    Projects are quite separate and it's a challenge to standardize across them.

    Allen Institute for AI2018-05-01
  10. "Great Place to Work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Institute for AI full-time

    Pros

    They're extremely transparent about everything so no one should be in the dark about what's going on at the company. Managers seem to make a big effort to ensure their reports are able to learn and grow. Overall, the company makes it a priority to support office culture with events, benefits, opportunities to work from home, and so much more.

    Cons

    Sometimes it seems that some of the leaders in the company will make assumptions without knowing the full context behind a decision.

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    Allen Institute for AI2018-03-19

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