About

I’m a scientist (machine learning, personalization & information retrieval) and a startup person. I'm currently Chief Scientist at CNN, working on news personalization and related ethical issues. Previously, I was founder & CEO of Canopy, where we built a new fully private and explainable personalization stack. Canopy was acquired by CNN / WarnerMedia in March 2020. Before that, I was the co-founder & CTO of music intelligence company The Echo Nest, sold to Spotify in 2014, where I was Principal Scientist until 2016. At Spotify I helped build their research team and focused on discovery of brand new music.

I was an artist / musician (ex-“Blitter“) from the late 90s through mid-00s. I work on many hardware & software side projects, mostly centered around music, speech and machine learning. I am currently developing a distributed mesh music synthesizer and a portable creative computing platform.

I received an MS in computer science at the Natural Language Processing group at Columbia University, then a PhD in machine learning and music understanding at MIT.

I live both in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and Quadra Island, BC, Canada.

You can reach me over email — brian@variogr.am

You can also follow me on Twitter. (But I’m currently on a long, and highly recommended break from all social media, apologies!)