|Taylor is originally from San Diego, California. She currently works as an AI Tutor at xAI, focused on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) development, emphasizing the importance of AI systems that enhance human capabilities and technology neutrality. In Spring '23, Taylor graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature/Letters. Throughout her time at the university, she was actively involved in numerous on-campus organizations and research centers. She interned at venture firms like Reach Capital, Chapter One, and GSV Ventures, pursuing roles in content, marketing, and operations. She is passionate about various areas of technology including, edtech, fintech, the creator economy, web3, & AI.
|Zixian has over 8 years of experience in the field of Natural Language Understanding and Conversational AI. She started her journey in academia, focusing her research primarily on syntax, semantics, and intonations. Upon graduating from UCLA in 2018, she transitioned her linguistic expertise into the tech industry, playing a pivotal role in various language product development and research initiatives. She has made valuable contributions to well-known products like Google Search and Knowledge Graph, Alexa, and Microsoft Office Suite Grammar Checker.
In her current role as a Senior Computational Linguist at Espressive, a Silicon Valley SaaS startup, Zixian leads the development of Virtual Support Agents (VSAs) aimed at empowering employees through self-help solutions. Her responsibilities encompass user interaction analysis, product and user experience research, ensuring an optimal conversational experience, fostering user adoption, and cultivating robust client relationships for global success.
Zixian holds an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MA in Linguistics from University College London. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, cozy gaming and watching horror movies.
Professor of Musicology, Music Industry (History of Music Industry, Music and the Internet, Digital Humanities); Music Industry, Musicology
David MacFadyen was trained both at the University of London (SSEES) and UCLA, where he received his PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Since that time, he has been an avid scholar, promoter, and collector of recordings from East Slavic cultures (Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus). The size of that collection is now approximately two million compositions, constituting a substantial and unique database, recently donated to the Wende Museum in Los Angeles. It is undergoing major archival treatment––specifically with the application of blockchain technology––such that rare audio files may be safely lent in so-called trustless environments to both institutions and individuals. The embedding of AI-assisted metadata is also an essential part of the archive’s improvement.
A resulting ability to track the use(s) of music 24/7 then opens up exciting possibilities in Western markets, preserving the IP of far-flung musicians with timely, fair payments––free of any intermediaries and/or their commissions. Not to mention the fact that the blockchain makes false information about financial dealings cryptographically impossible.
With this focus on technology’s benefit for free speech and free enterprise in both Russia and Ukraine, MacFadyen is simultaneously authoring a series of monographs on the history of Russia’s recording industry––a troubled domain that, on occasion, reflects the same civic abuse that has taken such awful shape since 2022.
He also runs a non-profit (Pacific Sound and Vision) that offers free education to young musicians from Eastern Europe, connecting them to SoCal experts in a range of technical, creative, and financial realms. Work continues with decentralized tech to offer creative solutions to Russia’s centralized destruction of democratic and artistic liberties.