I’m a Senior Scientist at the Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI (CHAI), working on recommender systems — the algorithms that select and rank content across social media, news apps, streaming music and video, and online shopping. I study how their operation affects well-being, polarization, and other things, and try to design recommenders that are better for people and society. For a decade I taught the double masters in computer science and journalism at Columbia Journalism School (lectures online). I led the development of Workbench, a visual programming system for data journalism, and built Overview, an open-source document set analysis system for investigative journalists. For a while I was an editor at the Associated Press, and I’ve also written for the New York Times, Foreign Policy, ProPublica, MIT Tech Review, and Wired. Before that, I did computer graphics R&D at Adobe Systems.
I live in Berkeley, California after previous stints in New York, Hong Kong, and Toronto. I like to make weird art with my friends.
Everything on this blog is my personal opinion and you definitely shouldn’t take it as the position of any employer, past or present.