Sebastian Farquhar

Sebastian Farquhar

I am a DPhil student in Computer Science at the University of Oxford supervised by Yarin Gal as part of the CDT for Cyber Security.

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. I help build neural network systems that can accurately assess degrees of confidence.

sebastian.farquhar@cs.ox.ac.uk

Publications

Recent publications/preprints, for a full overview see my Google Scholar page.

  • Radial Bayesian Neural Networks: Beyond Discrete Support In Large-Scale Bayesian Deep Learning
    Sebastian Farquhar, Michael Osborne, Yarin Gal
    arXiv,
                      @article{farquhar_radial_2019,
                        title={{Radial} {Bayesian} Neural Networks: Beyond Discrete Support In Large-Scale Bayesian Deep Learning},
                        author={Farquhar, Sebastian and Osborne, Michael and Gal, Yarin},
                        journal={arXiv},
                        year={2019}
                      }
                    
  • A Unifying Bayesian View of Continual Learning
    Sebastian Farquhar, Yarin Gal
    Bayesian Deep Learning Workshop at NeurIPS 2018 Spotlight Talk,
                      @article{farquhar_unifying_2018,
                        title = {A {Unifying} {Bayesian} {View} of {Continual} {Learning}},
                        language = {en},
                        journal = {Bayesian Deep Learning Workshop at NeurIPS},
                        author = {Farquhar, Sebastian and Gal, Yarin},
                        year = {2018}
                      }
                    
  • Towards Robust Evaluations of Continual Learning
    Sebastian Farquhar, Yarin Gal
    Lifelong Learning: A Reinforcement Learning Approach at ICML 2018 Spotlight Talk,
                      @article{farquhar_towards_2018,
                        title = {Towards {Robust} {Evaluations} of {Continual} {Learning}},
                        journal = {Lifelong Learning: A Reinforcement Learning Approach Workshop at ICML},
                        author = {Farquhar, Sebastian and Gal, Yarin},
                        year = {2018}
                      }
                    
  • Differentially Private Continual Learning
    Sebastian Farquhar, Yarin Gal
    Privacy in Machine Learning and AI Workshop at ICML 2018,
                      @article{farquhar_differentially_2018,
                          title = {Differentially {Private} {Continual} {Learning}},
                          language = {en},
                          journal = {Privacy in Machine Learning and AI workshop at ICML},
                          author = {Farquhar, Sebastian and Gal, Yarin},
                          year = {2018}
                      }
                    
  • The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation
    Miles Brundage et al.
    arXiv,
                      @article{brundage2018malicious,
                        title={The malicious use of artificial intelligence: Forecasting, prevention, and mitigation},
                        author={Brundage, Miles and Avin, Shahar and Clark, Jack and Toner, Helen and Eckersley, Peter and Garfinkel, Ben and Dafoe, Allan and Scharre, Paul and Zeitzoff, Thomas and Filar, Bobby and others},
                        journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1802.07228},
                        year={2018}
                      }
                    
  • Pricing Externalities to Balance Public Risks and Benefits of Research
    Sebastian Farquhar, Owen Cotton-Barratt, Andrew Snyder-Beattie
    Health Security. Volume 15 Number 4. 2017
                      @article{farquhar_pricing_2017,
                        title={Pricing Externalities to Balance Public Risks and Benefits of Research},
                        author={Farquhar, Sebastian and Cotton-Barratt, Owen and Snyder-Beattie, Andrew},
                        journal={Health Security},
                        volume={15},
                        number={4},
                        pages={401--408},
                        year={2017},
                        publisher={Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot Street, 3rd Floor New Rochelle, NY 10801 USA}
                      }
                    

Reviewer

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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