Alex Taylor

Sociologist and Father in London, United Kingdom

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Since 2004, I’ve worked at the Microsoft Research Cambridge Lab as a member of the Human Experiences & Design Group (HXD).

In the not so distant past, I’ve put time into investigating the routines of everyday life – with a particular emphasis on life at home. Troublingly, perhaps, I’ve shown an unhealthy preoccupation with hoarding, dirt, clutter and similar seemingly banal subject matter.

More recently, I’ve begun obsessing over the entanglements of computation and social life. My meanderings here have taken me from the intelligence found in robots and other curious ‘thinking’ machines, to DIYbio and more broadly the role of algorithms in the sciences and in ordinary life.

Where possible, I’ve considered these worldly things alongside the design of the human-machine interface. Rather than informing design directly, though, I’ve sought with varying success to open up the possibilities for different and hopefully new ways of being with technology. A further aim has been to reflect on the ever emergent relations between humans and machines, and to wonder what the unceasing developments in science and technology might mean for being human (and being machines).

My work amounts to a struggling through, not to produce definitive answers but with an eye for the troubles and finding something vaguely useful to get on with.

I live in London with my beloved partner, two children and erudite canine companion.

  • Work
    • Microsoft Research