Artifacts

One of my proudest achievements at Spotify: Your Time Capsule. We combined behavioral science and machine learning to understand people through the music they listen to -- and designed an algorithm that evokes feelings of nostalgia. It was one of our most successful product launches in the last couple of years. Spotify Has the Only Algorithms I Don't Fear (New York Magazine):  "As algorithms — such as those Facebook and Google use to curate and sort content — come under scrutiny for their hidden, immense power, they’ve become stand-ins for all the evils of the tech industry. But there are good algorithms still out there, working their magic in mysterious ways. Take, for instance, whatever the hell they’re doing at Spotify. I’m not the only one who’s been impressed by my Time Capsule playlist — Twitter is full of wide-eyed people shocked at how accurate Spotify was at describing their teenage music choices. The vibe is very “David Blaine just levitated in front of us” — the playlist acting as a fun and shocking magic trick. Maybe most important, it’s just for me, and it’s just a list of songs I like. Compare that with matching algorithms like Facebook’s People You May Know, which has the capacity to recommend secret family members with no mutual connections to a user, or shopping algorithms that know you’re pregnant based on the items that you’re buying or browsing, or algorithms that can analyze a user’s interests to assume a user’s sexual orientation. The trouble with algorithms, Spotify shows, isn’t the algorithms. It’s companies that wrap them around our lives in ways we don’t understand and can’t control. That’s the scary encroaching future. Algorithms that do nothing more complicated than serve up pop-punk songs are exactly what a tech utopia promises."  

One of my proudest achievements at Spotify: Your Time Capsule. We combined behavioral science and machine learning to understand people through the music they listen to -- and designed an algorithm that evokes feelings of nostalgia. It was one of our most successful product launches in the last couple of years.

Spotify Has the Only Algorithms I Don't Fear (New York Magazine):  "As algorithms — such as those Facebook and Google use to curate and sort content — come under scrutiny for their hidden, immense power, they’ve become stand-ins for all the evils of the tech industry. But there are good algorithms still out there, working their magic in mysterious ways. Take, for instance, whatever the hell they’re doing at Spotify.

I’m not the only one who’s been impressed by my Time Capsule playlist — Twitter is full of wide-eyed people shocked at how accurate Spotify was at describing their teenage music choices. The vibe is very “David Blaine just levitated in front of us” — the playlist acting as a fun and shocking magic trick.

Maybe most important, it’s just for me, and it’s just a list of songs I like. Compare that with matching algorithms like Facebook’s People You May Know, which has the capacity to recommend secret family members with no mutual connections to a user, or shopping algorithms that know you’re pregnant based on the items that you’re buying or browsing, or algorithms that can analyze a user’s interests to assume a user’s sexual orientation. The trouble with algorithms, Spotify shows, isn’t the algorithms. It’s companies that wrap them around our lives in ways we don’t understand and can’t control. That’s the scary encroaching future. Algorithms that do nothing more complicated than serve up pop-punk songs are exactly what a tech utopia promises."

 

This was my favorite cover. In its simplicity, it captures the purpose and optimism of the magazine.

This was my favorite cover. In its simplicity, it captures the purpose and optimism of the magazine.

This is the issue I am most proud of.  It was called Global Reset and we released it at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Through bold, thought-provoking essays by some of my favorite thinkers, it argues that science should be a primary lens through which we run the world.

This is the issue I am most proud of.  It was called Global Reset and we released it at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Through bold, thought-provoking essays by some of my favorite thinkers, it argues that science should be a primary lens through which we run the world.

One of the most interesting projects we worked on, Blue Dot is a thought experiment in what the UN could look like if redesigned through a scientific lens.

One of the most interesting projects we worked on, Blue Dot is a thought experiment in what the UN could look like if redesigned through a scientific lens.

Design and the Elastic Mind was a collaboration with Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator for Architecture & Design at MoMA. We ran a series of salons at the museum for over a year, gathering scientists and designers to explore the intersection of their fields. The conversations culminated in a conference, website, book, and museum exhibit.

Design and the Elastic Mind was a collaboration with Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator for Architecture & Design at MoMA. We ran a series of salons at the museum for over a year, gathering scientists and designers to explore the intersection of their fields. The conversations culminated in a conference, website, book, and museum exhibit.

Designed by Stefan Sagmeister, the logo of Seed was derived from the phyllotaxis, a form found in nature that is based on the Fibonacci sequence.

Designed by Stefan Sagmeister, the logo of Seed was derived from the phyllotaxis, a form found in nature that is based on the Fibonacci sequence.

The Seed Salon was a multi-year project to unify the arts and sciences around topics of common inquiry -- like love, dreams, and war. Photographs and transcripts from dozens of curated conversations made their way into a book called Science is Culture: Conversations at the New Intersection of Science & Society published by HarperCollins.

The Seed Salon was a multi-year project to unify the arts and sciences around topics of common inquiry -- like love, dreams, and war. Photographs and transcripts from dozens of curated conversations made their way into a book called Science is Culture: Conversations at the New Intersection of Science & Society published by HarperCollins.

MY World was the biggest and most meaningful data project the UN had ever undertaken. It was an effort to bring the world (millions of people from every socioeconomic background and from every country on Earth) directly into the political process of setting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through data and analytics. 

MY World was the biggest and most meaningful data project the UN had ever undertaken. It was an effort to bring the world (millions of people from every socioeconomic background and from every country on Earth) directly into the political process of setting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through data and analytics.