Laura Vardoulakis, Lead UX Researcher at Google Health: on career transitions, ethics in the field of machine learning and the importance of having a work space based on trust – The Human Show Podcast 79




Laura Vardoulakis a human-computer interaction researcher, passionate about technologies that help people live happier, healthier lives and currently leads User Experience Research for Google Health. She holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from Northeastern University, where she later received her PhD in Computer Science on Human-Computer Interaction Concentration. Prior to Google, her research was at the intersection of HCI, CS, and Medicine: developing conversational, agent-based interactions designed to improve health outcomes. Laura’s research has been published in CHI, Intelligent Virtual Agents, AAAI, and featured in The Wall Street Journal and MIT Technology Review.

In today’s episode we talk to Laura about career transitions, ethics in technology development and the value of applied social science. Laura shares her path of becoming a UX researcher. Many of the turns that we take during our professional career, says Laura, are leaps of faith. Having discovered her interest in human-computer interaction when the field itself was only in the process of becoming means that she often had to believe to have the needed expertise and create her own professional goals. We ask Laura how did she come to make her choices, what does she consider to be the conditions for a cohesive cross-functional team to be successful and what to take into consideration when transitioning to industry from a more theoretical work place? At last we ask Laura about her view of the future in the field of machine learning and what should we be prepared for.

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Mentioned in Podcast:

Rajkomar A. et al (2018), Ensuring Fairness in Machine Learning to Advance Health Equity, Annals of Internal Medicine,

Rajkomar A. et al (2019), Machine Learning in Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine,


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