Eliezer Shlomo Yudkowsky is an American artificial intelligence researcher concerned with singularity and an advocate of friendly artificial intelligence. Yudkowsky is a nonfiction author who writes about philosophy and social science. He has also written several works of fiction. His fanfiction novel, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (2010–2015), uses plot elements from J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series to illustrate topics in science.
Eliezer Yudkowsky did not attend high school and is an autodidact with no formal education in artificial intelligence. He was raised as a Modern Orthodox Jew.
He co-founded the nonprofit Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SIAI) in 2000 and continues as a full-time Research Fellow there. Yudkowsky's research focuses on Artificial Intelligence theory for self-understanding, self-modification, and recursive self-improvement (seed AI); and also on artificial intelligence architectures and decision theories for stably benevolent motivational structures (Friendly AI and Coherent Extrapolated Volition in particular).
In addition to his academic work, Yudkowsky has written explanations of various philosophical topics in non-academic language, particularly on rationality, such as "An Intuitive Explanation of Bayes' Theorem."
Yudkowsky was, along with Robin Hanson, one of the principal contributors to the blog Overcoming Bias sponsored by the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University.
Over 300 blog posts by Eliezer Yudkowsky on philosophy and science were published as an ebook entitled Rationality: From AI to Zombies by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) in 2015.
In early 2009, he helped to found Less Wrong, a "community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality." The Sequences on Less Wrong, comprising over two years of blog posts on epistemology, Artificial Intelligence, and metaethics, constitute the largest portion of Yudkowsky's writing.
A Harry Potter fan fiction by Eliezer Yudkowsky, written to promote the rationality skills he advocates on his community blog LessWrong. It adapts the story of Harry Potter to explain complex concepts in cognitive science, philosophy, and the scientific method. The fan fiction spans one year, covering Harry's first year in Hogwarts. It was published as a serial from February 2010 to March 2015, with 122 chapters and about 660,000 words.
The New Yorker described Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality as a retelling of Rowling's original "in an attempt to explain Harry's wizardry through the scientific method."
Eliezer Yudkowsky currently lives in Redwood City, California.