Sebastian Farquhar

Sebastian Farquhar

I am a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, University of Oxford in Computer Science. I am also studying for a DPhil supervised by Yarin Gal.

I work on safe and secure machine learning through Bayesian deep learning.

Trustworthy systems ought to be uncertain, but much of modern machine learning is over-confident by design. My work aims to understand uncertainty and confidence in neural networks.


Recent first-author or joint-first-author publications/preprints, for a full overview see my Google Scholar page.


  • Lorenz Kuhn (2021, co-supervised with Yarin Gal)
  • Freddie Bickford Smith (2021, co-supervised with Tom Rainforth)


† Top reviewer certificate.


Professional experience

Before my DPhil, I led the Global Priorities Project – a joint project of the Centre for Effective Altruism and the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford – which connects research from the University with the realities that policy-makers face in order to offer evidence-based non-partisan policy proposals. GPP focused on technological risk management and frameworks that encourage evidence-based policy-making.

I was Acting Executive Director of the Centre for Effective Altruism in 2015 – which works in Oxford to use evidence and analysis to make the world a better place, and runs Giving What We Can, 80,000 Hours and the Global Priorities Project in addition to building a community of effective altruists.

At McKinsey, I developed strategy for leading European public sector providers of services in health and social care, and helped to implement large-scale change programmes in local areas serving more than 2 million people.

Before McKinsey, I was on the team that set up 80,000 Hours – a social enterprise which helps people have a meaningful ethical career which now reaches over 1 million people a year, raised over $5 million in funding, and been featured by the Washington Post, the BBC, TED, and NPR among others.

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