Meet Kevin McKee, a research scientist at DeepMind who is passionate about AI and its impact on society. From an early age, Kevin was captivated by science fiction and the exploration of the human mind. He delved into studies in psychology and neuroscience, which eventually led him to DeepMind.
At DeepMind, Kevin has the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects, collaborating with various experts from different fields. His projects involve using machine learning and social science to understand the implications of AI development and promote cooperative AI. He works alongside engineers, mathematicians, and ethicists to create innovative solutions.
Aside from his research, Kevin is also involved in QueerMinds, an employee resource group at DeepMind for LGBTQ+ employees and allies. He saw the need for a community and support system for individuals like him and took it upon himself to create one. QueerMinds organizes social events, guest talks, and group outings to foster a sense of belonging and visibility for the queer community at DeepMind.
When it comes to working from home or in the office, Kevin prefers the latter. He finds it energizing to be surrounded by his teammates and colleagues on a daily basis. He believes that spontaneous conversations and unplanned moments often lead to breakthroughs in research, making the office environment beneficial for collaboration and idea generation.
In terms of DeepMind’s impact on the world, Kevin is hopeful that their work can include marginalized communities in scientific advancements. By involving these communities in the research agenda-setting process, he believes they can address specific challenges and prioritize important research questions. Kevin highlights how AI can already make a positive difference, citing the example of his sister who works with trans teens. Recent AI advancements can support therapists in helping trans patients develop their voices and communication in a way that affirms their gender identities.
Kevin takes pride in two significant projects he has worked on. The first is a paper on “queer fairness,” which emphasizes the need for research on the effects of AI on LGBTQ+ communities. The second project focuses on cooperative AI, inspired by human altruism and reward sharing. Kevin and his team have developed AI agents that can interact with humans, enhancing cooperation and collaboration.
On a personal note, Kevin is an avid surfer. Despite moving to London from California, he still finds ways to catch great waves in Portugal, Spain, and even Cornwall. Surfing is his way of unwinding and connecting with the natural world.
If Kevin could give advice to his past self, it would be to not be afraid of taking big leaps. Moving to the UK and joining DeepMind was a life-changing decision for him, and he encourages others to embrace new opportunities.
To learn more about the research at DeepMind and explore potential roles, visit their website today.