I’ve never shied away from being an early problem solver. My training began in biological engineering for NASA, developing simulations that would digitally prototype physical systems to predict performance in the extraterrestrial world. My passion lies in building technical solutions for dynamic, complex societal challenges. Early in my career, I was steeped in the development of advanced algorithms and models, but quickly became limited by data to support those algorithms. My team and I became stuck. In parallel, online and social media began its explosive trajectory and its value for me became immediately apparent. Compared to the limited data sets I worked with, social platforms supplied an endless stream of open source data that created new opportunities to build analytics, and explore a new cybersocial world. My fascination and focus on open source media began immediately, and has become the focus of my career since. Joining Graphika was a seamless transition for me, and one that was simple. There are many reasons I chose to join Graphika, but I’d like to share the most significant:
The Opportunity for Impact
Graphika’s mission is to map all of the world’s social media networks to uncover and explain how communities form, evolve, and engage online. This is our specialized niche, and we are better at this than anyone in the field. As Graphika’s CTO, it is my mission to look to the future and to improve the core product to anticipate changes and the needs of our customers. The tools we develop at Graphika to solve real-world problems are uniquely suited to make an impact in how businesses, policymakers, and everyday people understand information integrity and social network intelligence. There is more resource allocation to our domain than ever before, the market has gained maturity, and the doors are open to making a change in the world. Information integrity threatens democracy, healthcare, and everyday people’s lives. Graphika has a tremendous opportunity for impact, and there couldn’t be a better time to jump in.
I’ve known Dr. John Kelly, Graphika’s CEO, since 2012. We met when presenting research at a conference in Estonia among a small group of technologists obsessed with social network intelligence. I vividly recall presenting the Social Radar tool I developed at MITRE. We’ve worked together a number of times after that, crossing paths to research, inform, and educate among the still-nascent industry. The connection with John led to an introduction to the full Graphika team, where I have been consistently impressed by the brilliant technologists, analysts, and thinkers creating the tools and hunting down bad actors that enable us to defend information integrity and identify the flow of information and influence online. Each team member at Graphika maintains a unique and valuable skill set, and even more impressive is the alignment of the team in the vision Graphika upholds of a world where communities online thrive authentically.
The Abundance of Data
Within the cybersocial terrain created by platforms, there is an overabundance of data that changes frequently. There is no end to topics addressed, the decibel of noise is higher than ever, and there is an increasing number of people engaging. The scale of data is off the charts. As a technologist, data is my lifeblood and my ability to build technology solutions is contingent on the availability of data. At Graphika, we are uniquely positioned to leverage this data to its fullest extent. Today, we are uncovering the ways in which adversaries manipulate authentic conversations, the cybersocial threats targeting companies, and how brands can identify the audiences impacting their businesses. It is the richness of data and Graphika’s unique technological capability to untangle that data and deliver actionable insights that excites me as a technologist.
Graphika’s Exponential Roadmap
Developing the go-to SaaS tool that enables users of any technical level to come up to speed quickly on topics within their network or community structure is an exciting project as a CTO. The scale of open source data on social media is vast, and applying Graphika’s technology to the cybersocial terrain allows users to navigate the connections and influence there with actionable intelligence. While we’re focusing on social media today, the cybersocial terrain is vast. Smart cities, augmented reality, connected landscapes – any networked domain where data proliferates is where Graphika can map and derive useful insights. Pointing back to my core focus on network intelligence, Graphika’s future is bright and presents an exponential roadmap.
No other company has succeeded in accomplishing what Graphika has thus far accomplished. From Trust and Safety executives seeking to understand how their platforms are being manipulated by adversarial actors, to strategic communicators monitoring social spaces to identify opportunities and threats to their brand, Graphika has carved out a unique space. As Graphika’s new CTO, I am proud to join a team that is as obsessed with understanding the cybersocial world as I am, and eager to continue to make an impact on the world.