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Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Oct 11, 2023

Last Updated

Organizational and “Meta” Roles


A CTO leads the vision for the technological roadmap, development, and execution of AI products. They oversee the technology department including, and work closely with, the executive team, to develop and implement strategies to drive innovation, increase efficiency, and achieve business objectives. The CTO may also hold responsibilities at the intersection of technology advancement and risk management, and may contribute to ensuring that the technology systems and processes within the organization are compliant with standards the organization or product team wishes to adhere to.

Example tasks

  • Design and implement technology strategies, roadmaps, practices and processes.

  • Collaborate with the chief executive officer, chief information officer, and executive leaders.

  • Improve products, services and production processes with novel or upgraded technology.

  • Research emerging technologies and industry trends and help establish the direction of research.

  • Assist in recruiting, onboarding, and training technology team members.

  • Ensure tech-based decisions enable teams to meet business goals.

  • Manage a budget for technological resources.

  • Representing upcoming technological and safety developments externally.

Why we think this job is impactful

A CTO often has the ability to shape research priorities and help ensure that crucial safety considerations are taken into account for further AI development. They may play a crucial role in guiding the organization’s research agenda and ensuring that the organization does not just recklessly focus on enhancing AI capabilities. Furthermore, a CTO may encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration among the different teams of an organization, which contributes to the creation of a solid internal platform of dialogue, helping to ensure that the considerations of all important stakeholders (e.g., researchers from the governance team) are seriously taken into account. We expect this role to be impactful in both large organizations and small-but-promising AI organizations and in well-funded AI startups, given the potential that one may have in steering their trajectory and in helping them leverage their impact on AI catastrophic risk mitigation.

How Successif can help

We have developed a way to assess potential candidate’s fitness for this role and collected sample interview questions that can be asked for this job. If you are passionate about mitigating the risks of transformative AI systems and believe you would be a good fit for this role, apply for our career services.

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