Photograph of Brian Christian, taken by photographer Eileen Meny
Photo Credit: Eileen Meny

Brian Christian is an acclaimed author and researcher whose work explores the human implications of computer science. He is best known for his bestselling series of books:

The Most Human Human (2011) uses his experience as a human “confederate” in the Turing test to examine what chatbots reveal about the nature of language and communication. It was named a Wall Street Journal bestseller, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and a New Yorker favorite book of the year.

Algorithms to Live By (2016), with Tom Griffiths, applies computational principles to everyday human decision making, painting a counterintuitively human picture of rationality. It was named a #1 Audible bestseller, Amazon best science book of the year, and MIT Technology Review best book of the year.

The Alignment Problem (2020) is a nuanced investigation of the ethics and safety challenges confronting the field of AI, and a portrait of the community of researchers working to address them. Nature called it “Meticulously researched and superbly written,” and The New York Times called it “The best book on the key technical and moral questions of AI.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella named it one of the five books that inspired him in 2021. The Alignment Problem was a Finalist for Los Angeles Times Best Science & Technology Book of the Year and won the Excellence in Science Communication Award from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Christian’s writing has been translated into nineteen languages, and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Paris Review, and in scientific journals such as Cognitive Science. His work has won several literary awards, including fellowships at Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and MacDowell, publication in Best American Science & Nature Writing, and an award from the Academy of American Poets.

Christian has been a featured guest on The Daily Show, The Ezra Klein Show, and Radiolab, and has lectured at Google, Meta, Microsoft, Yale, the Santa Fe Institute, and the London School of Economics. He has advised business executives as well as Cabinet Members, Parliamentarians, and administrators in six countries about matters ranging from decision making to AI.

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Christian holds degrees in philosophy, computer science, and poetry from Brown University and the University of Washington. A visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford, he lives in San Francisco and the UK.

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