Most personalization today is rudimentary and coarsely-targeted, at best—and when it gets us wrong, it’s a negative experience. Sara will chat about ways to improve personalized experiences for users.
Sara M. Watson is a technology critic and a research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism as well as an affiliate with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Sara’s work explores how we are learning to live with, understand, and interpret our personal data and the algorithms that shape our experiences. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, Wired, Gizmodo, the Harvard Business Review, and Slate. Sara previously worked as an enterprise technology analyst at the Research Board (Gartner, Inc.), exploring implications of technological trends for Fortune 500 CIOs. She also consults with organizations such as Crimson Hexagon, Brightcove, and the World Economic Forum on data practices and policies. She cohosts the Mindful Cyborgs podcast, reviews books on Goodreads, ran Tech Book Club and Angry Tech Salon at the Berkman Center, and writes a newsletter about her adventures in Southeast Asia. Sara holds an MSc in the social science of the Internet with distinction from the Oxford Internet Institute, where her award-winning thesis used ethnographic methods to examine the personal data interests of the Quantified Self community. She graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude with a joint degree in English and American literature and film studies. Sara enjoys emoji, karaoke, emoji karaoke, and making lists. She’s married to the brilliant and intrepid Nick R. Smith. She tweets as @smwat.
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