John Maeda: AI + Design
Episode 75 of the Design Better Podcast
Today we welcome back John Maeda, who is currently Vice President of Design and Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft. You’re probably familiar with John’s work, but if not, take a listen to Episode 42 of this show, where he talks about the arc of his remarkable career.
In today’s episode, we talk with John about his role at Microsoft, what’s most misunderstood about AI, and his optimistic take on what the future holds for designers who embrace these new tools.
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John Maeda is an American technologist, designer, engineer, artist, investor, author, and teacher. He is currently the VP of Design and Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft. He’s the author of five books including a gentle intro to AI/ML "How To Speak Machine (Penguin)" and the "Laws of Simplicity (MIT Press)."
John is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, and the Cartier Foundation, Paris. He’s the first recipient of the White House’s National Design Award for algorithmically-generated visualizations informed by data. Maeda serves on the Board of Sonos and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
He has held positions with Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com; the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins; served as president of the Rhode Island School of Design; and began his early career at the MIT Media Lab at the intersection of computer science and visual art. Named as one of the “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century” by Esquire, Maeda draws on his diverse background as an MIT-trained engineer, award-winning designer, and MBA-community translator to bring people and ideas together at scale.
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