Newsletter: Reimagining Social Technologies
Issue 1: ‘Platform Democracy’—a very different way to govern big tech

Recent Work: Ranking and recommendation systems that bridge divides Platform democracy A compass for social technologies Building wise systems Contextualization engines (see more)

Formal Bio: Aviv Ovadya (@metaviv) researches and supports tractable processes for technology governance and alignment, building on validated methods from offline deliberative democracy and innovative AI-augmented deliberation technology. He is affiliated with Harvard's Berkman Klein Center (RSM), a visiting researcher at Cambridge University's Center for the Future of Intelligence, and consults for technology companies, civil society organizations, and funders.

Aviv’s related work explores how we can make our information ecosystem and decision-making systems robust in the face of new technologies. This has involved measurement, mapping harm dynamics, identifying potential levers, navigating limitations (e.g. of deepfake detection), and ensuring that social media ranking systems can bridge divides instead of fomenting division.

After receiving his BS and MEng degrees in computer science from MIT, Aviv provided engineering, product design, and product management support for companies near San Francisco and internationally. In mid-2016, Aviv transitioned to focusing exclusively on the societal implications of technology, and has since collaborated and consulted for organizations including the Partnership on AI, TED, and Meedan, and brought his work on misinformation metrics to the Center for Social Media Responsibility at the University of Michigan, where he served as Chief Technologist.

Aviv's work has been covered regularly, including by the BBC, NPR, the Economist, and The New York Times and his writing has been published by Bloomberg, HBR, the MIT Technology Review, and the Washington Post.



Informal Bio: 👋 Hi! I currently live near Boston, though I am almost as likely to be found anywhere else in the world, giving talks, collaborating on projects, or participating in convenings (well, and dancing — though generally not all at the same time). I also advise and consult for technology companies, researchers, foundations, and policymakers.

My goal is to ensure that our technologies can facilitate a 'good society'—that they not only support our everyday lives, but also promote the collective trust and wise decision-making necessary for taking on existential global challenges.

Before I was as fully focused on the impacts of technology on society, I got my S.B. and M.Eng. degrees in computer science at MIT and did research, software engineering, and product design for organizations as varied as Amazon, the MIT Media Lab, MIT CSAIL, Quora, Trove, Ironclad, and Google. I've worked primarily in the United States, but also done short stints in Brazil, Australia, and Vietnam. I enjoy combining science, computing, and art (my masters' thesis involved origami transformers) and I am a proud coauthor of the broccoli emoji. 🥦


Stay in touch on twitter @metaviv, @aviv@mastodon.online, and via my newsletter.

Email me at "aviv@ this website".