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Frank Speiser – Using Tech to Sound Human

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You try to use data to help someone sound more human. Can you explain how data helps us to have meaningful conversations at scale?

It’s not any different from what we have always done. When you come across something useful and pick up the phone to call someone, you are exchanging data, just on a peer-to-peer model, right?

It’s like we all have independently-owned TV stations. I broadcast, but then I can get feedback to change things. Data lets you know whether or not you are connecting with people, and it lets you assess what the appetite is for what you want to share

Everybody talks about how social has changed everything, but really, social is just the next iteration in broadcast media. It’s not a conversational medium for the most part. It’s like we all have independently-owned TV stations. I broadcast, but then I can get feedback to change things. Data lets you know whether or not you are connecting with people, and it lets you assess what the appetite is for what you want to share.

If you have something important, data can help you overcome your selec- tion-bias and avoid missing your audience. I think that is probably the most important role for it, because by nature it is our tendency to think what you’re going to say is the most important—if you count, in a set of one, it’s definitely the most important thing.

As you start expanding the possible reach of your message, the odds of your being right drop dramatically. You go from being sure it’s the most important thing, but then, even in the example of your calling on the phone–now you’re only half as sure. When you open it up to a set of a thousand followers on Facebook or Twitter, your odds are pretty low that you are going to hit the best time to deliver your message if you are only polling yourself. Data on what people are topically connecting with allows you to model-out how to get the right messaging in front of the right people at the right time.

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Frank Speiser – Co-Founder of SocialFlow

Frank Speiser is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of SocialFlow. He’s a huge proponent of non-coercive, voluntary interactions. For the past several years, he’s been active in advising startups in the NYC area and he’s spoken frequently on the ethics of technology and technology’s impact on journalism and the news. Frank has been programming since age 8, and doesn’t ever plan to stop. He has also dropped out of five different universities, and is really bad at doing what he is told. Frank lives in Connecticut with his wife and two great kids.