Liam Carroll

Mathematician, Musician, Hiker.
Melbourne, Australia.

Liam on Overland

I am a mathematician, musician, and hiker. Intuitively, these things feel deeply interconnected to me, though many people are surprised at how orthogonal these interests seemingly are. At the very least, they each fill me with joy through a combination of beauty, love and wildness.

I am currently working as a Researcher in AI Safety jointly funded by Timaeus and the Gradient Institute. The focus of my work is to build tools for AI safety assurance using Singular Learning Theory and Developmental Interpretability (DevInterp). I am also learning about practice and policy in Responsible AI with Gradient.

Prior to that I was independently funded by Lightspeed Grants to do research on DevInterp. I was a co-author on The Developmental Landscape of In-Context Learning, and will soon be publishing other projects studying essential dynamics of linear regression transformer trajectories. I also worked as a Research Assistant with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADMS) where I produced a simulation of a music recommender environment using ChatGPT to model user behaviour, called recagent-music.

I recently studied a Master’s of Mathematics at The University of Melbourne, completing a thesis on Phase Transitions in Neural Networks, under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Murfet, which explains the key messages of Sumio Watanabe’s Singular Learning Theory. I have recently turned this into a sequence on LessWrong. You can read more about my work here:

Singular Learning Theory

I have also completed a Diploma of Music in Clarinet performance, and I thoroughly enjoy conducting. I am deeply passionate about making Australian classical music more relevant and engaging for the audience it seeks to serve, by transforming what we play and how it is played, in service of a more connected community and sense of identity.

In 2022/23, I have been a lead hiking guide on the 6-day Overland Track with Tasmanian Walking Company. It has been an immense privilege to traverse this parallel universe over 16 times in the past 12 months. Between this work and other recreational trips, I spent over 120 days in wilderness in 2022/23. You can see photos of the most magical place on earth here:

Overland Gallery

Snow gums
Cushion plant
Fagus at sunset