Alan Chan

Alan Chan

PhD Student



I am a Research Scholar at GovAI and a PhD student at Mila, advised by Nicolas Le Roux and David Krueger. Previously at Amii + UAlberta, I was an MSc student with Martha White. I work on AI governance, particularly on governing agents and figuring out good evaluation policy.


  • AI governance
  • Alignment


  • PhD in Computer Science, 2024

    Université de Montréal

  • MSc in Computing Science, 2020

    University of Alberta

  • BSc in Mathematics, 2018

    University of Alberta


I work on ensuring the safe and broadly beneficial development of AI. My work consists of both technical and sociotechnical approaches to improve coordination amongst key actors to reduce AI risk. My technical work on foundation models focuses on developing rigorous methodologies for identifying capabilities that could be potentially dangerous or contribute positively to differential technological progress. My sociotechnical work includes characterizing key concepts in AI risk and performing policy research to improve coordination.

Recent Papers

Towards the Scalable Evaluation of Cooperativeness in Language Models

It is likely that AI systems driven by pre-trained language models (PLMs) will increasingly be used to assist humans in high-stakes …

Characterizing Manipulation from AI Systems

Manipulation is a common concern in many domains, such as social media, advertising, and chatbots. As AI systems mediate more of our …

Reclaiming the Digital Commons: A Public Data Trust for Training Data

Democratization of AI means not only that people can freely use AI, but also that people can collectively decide how AI is to be used. …

Harms from Increasingly Agentic Algorithmic Systems

Research in Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics (FATE) has established many sources and forms of algorithmic harm, in …

Scoring Rules for Performative Binary Prediction

We construct a model of expert prediction where predictions can influence the state of the world. Under this model, we show through …

Recent & Upcoming Talks

MSc Seminar

My seminar for my MSc thesis.

Problems with Fair ML

This talk will be a mostly non-technical dive into problems that I find with a lot of fair ML research today. I will begin with some …

Recent Posts

New blog

I plan to post things related to AI safety here now.

Figuring out Research

I’ve spent much of the past year and a half trying to figure out what kind of research I want to do. I still haven’t figured it out. Andrew Wiles once described Math as a process of bumbling around in a dark mansion.


One of the defining experiences of my intellectual development was the entirety of high school social studies, two years of which I spent with somebody who has shaped my thought the most critically.


I always struggle with the languages box on applications: what do I put for Cantonese and Mandarin? I’m sure that I don’t speak them fluently or even moderately well, but I’m not a beginner either.

Talking to Strangers

My last daily chat with a stranger was several months ago. Last year, motivated mostly by the positive experiences of a friend who had done a similar challenge, I decided to find somebody new—usually a student on campus—to talk to every day.