Matt Bernius, Lead UX Research, Measures for Justice: researching (digital) cameras; mistaking chatbots for humans; 3 “how to’s” to transition to the applied sector – The Human Show Podcast 22









Matt Bernius has had an extensive career working at the intersection of design and anthropology.

Matt holds a MA in the social sciences from the University of Chicago and was a visiting professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he co-founded the Open Publishing Lab (OPL), a cross-disciplinary research lab that built open source publishing tools. He also was a student in Cornell University’s Cultural Anthropology PhD program before leaving to work in applied anthropology.

In the applied sector, Matt has worked with companies such as Autodesk, Boeing/Jeppesen, Honeywell, Mozilla, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Securian.

He is currently the lead user researcher and UX strategist at Measures for Justice, a non-profit organization working to facilitate court reform in the United States via data transparency.

In this episode Matt talks to us about his journey from a web designer at Kodak to design anthropologist in the technology space. We talk about the ethical implications of mistaking chatbots for humans and why the “do no evil” mantra is not enough when developing technology.

We also talk about the cooperative yet antagonistic relationship between a company and its customers and how anthropologists can assist. Finally, Matt gives 3 key pieces of advice to those interested in transitioning from academia to the applied sector and to those companies interested in hiring anthropologists.

Matt Bernius – Linked In

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Mentioned in Podcast:

Hortense Powdermaker, Stranger and Friend

Matt’s work:

“Manufacturing and Encountering “Human” in the Age of Digital Reproduction.” In Human No More: Digital Subjectivities, Unhuman Subjects, and the End of Anthropology

“What college students do and don’t know about free open source software” – Libre Planet Talk (with Gina Likens of Red Hat) –

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