I'm Aviv Ovadya and I focus on ensuring that our information ecosystem has a positive impact on society—that it can facilitate the understanding, trust, and problem solving needed for a well-functioning civilization. I've been doing this in a variety of ways, ranging from fellowships with Columbia, UMSI, and TED; as Chief Technologist at the Center for Social Media Responsibility; and even consulting for Snopes. Now I'm focused on the Thoughtful Technology Project, I am a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund, and I consult to support projects focused on bolstering our civic discourse and ensuring positive societal impacts for technology.
I live in San Francisco, though I am almost as likely to found anywhere else in the world, giving talks, collaborating on projects, or participating in convenings. I also advise and consult for technology companies, researchers, foundations, and policy makers where relevant.
Before I was as fully focused on preventing the deterioration of our information ecosystem, I did research, software engineering, and product design for organizations as varied as Amazon, the MIT Media Lab, MIT CSAIL, Morgan Stanley, Quora, Yerdle, Ironclad, and Google. I enjoy combining science, computing, and art (my masters thesis involved origami transformers) and I am also a proud coauthor of the broccoli emoji. 🥦
Formal Bio: Aviv Ovadya (@metaviv) is the founder of the Thoughtful Technology Project, a 'credibility consultant', and a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy. Aviv has been involved in raising the alarm around online and AI driven misinformation from before the 2016 US election and his efforts have been covered by major news organizations across five continents. He received his S.B. and M.Eng. degrees in computer science at MIT, and worked and consulted in Silicon Valley before becoming the founding Chief Technologist at the Center for Social Media Responsibility at the University of Michigan. Aviv was also a founding member of the Credibility Coalition, consulted for Snopes, was a Knight Innovation Fellow at the Tow Center at Columbia University, and was a TED CIVIC summer resident. He has spoken internationally about addressing threats to discourse and democracy, including for TEDx, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has written for Bloomberg, HBR, and the Washington Post.
Aviv's work to improve our information ecosystem touches on misinformation, synthetic media (e.g. deepfakes), content moderation, recommendation engines, distributed sense-making, contextualization, platform design, governance, media literacy, and operationalizing tech ethics.