Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Brian Christian

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: San Francisco, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2009, 2012, 2017

Brian Christian is the author of The Most Human Human, which was named a Wall Street Journal bestseller and a New Yorker favorite book of 2011, and has been translated into 10 languages. His second book, Algorithms to Live By, was named a #1 Audible bestseller, an Amazon best science book of the year and an MIT Technology Review best book of the year. At MacDowell in 2017, he prepared a first draft of his nonfiction book The Alignment Problem, which centers on issues of ethics and human values in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and was published by Norton in 2020.

His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Paris Review, in numerous literary journals, and in scientific journals such as Cognitive Science. Christian has been featured on The Charlie Rose Show and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and has lectured at Google, Microsoft, the Santa Fe Institute, and the London School of Economics. His work has won several awards, including fellowships at the MacDowell, Yaddo, and Bread Loaf, publication in Best American Science & Nature Writing, and an award from the Academy of American Poets.

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Christian holds degrees in philosophy, computer science, and poetry from Brown University and the University of Washington. He lives in San Francisco.



Brian Christian worked in the Calderwood studio.

In the winter of 1998, motivated by his passion for reading, Stanford Calderwood donated funds for a new writers’ studio. Burr-McCallum Architects of Williamstown, MA, provided the award-winning design in 1999; and the construction of the handsome studio was completed in time for its first artist to arrive early in 2000. With a series of double-hung casement…

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