🤖 USING VOICE-NATIVE AI TO CREATE BETTER EXPERIENCES 🗣
In the last few years, we’ve all come to appreciate the importance of socializing online – as long as some of the ways those online platforms still fall short of the authenticity of in-person connection. Modulate’s mission is to bridge that gap and empower more people to find rich and accepting communities online.
Our ToxMod product is a unique new voice moderation system designed to capture not just overt toxicity (hate speech, adult language) but also more insidious harms like child predation, violent radicalization, and self-harm. Among other unique capabilities, ToxMod can listen to others in the group to get a sense of whether your behavior is actually harmful or simply friendly trash talk; and it takes responsiblity off the shoulders of players by ensuring that harmful behavior is reported to the studio without requiring the player to jump through hoops to do so.
OUR VALUES 🚀
It’s important to understand what our ultimate vision is for the culture – what are we striving for? In order to answer these, we define eight “culture pillars”, which are listed along with simple taglines below in alphabetical order.
Our eight culture pillars are:
- Autonomy. Set the direction, then get out of the way.
- Clarity. Measure twice, cut once.
- Individuality. Don’t be ‘normal.’ Be you.
- Joint Ambition. Take steps that help us succeed. Everything else is decoration.
- Personal Growth. The best time and place for feedback is here and now.
- Positive Impact. Leave anything or anyone better than how you found them.
- Respect. Your preferences are as real and important as mine.
- Transparency. Overcommunicate – you don’t know what they’ll gain most from hearing.
But anyone can claim ambitious culture goals. Let’s instead talk about what separates someone who will be happy and successful at Modulate from someone who might respect what we’re doing but prefer working elsewhere.
- You genuinely believe in the potential for safer online communities across gaming, social, and so many more applications; and no matter how clever your ideas or how great your effort, you understand and agree that our only true metric for success is whether we collectively achieve that mission.
- Given the feedback of “you’re doing great, keep it up,” your reaction is not relief or satisfaction but to eagerly ask “but how can I do even better?”
- You know your job isn’t to “do what your manager tells you”, but rather to work together with them to combine their strategic goals with your boots-on-the-ground knowledge and figure out the truly best work to be doing.
- You recognize that great ideas can come from anywhere, so you go out of your way to bring in new perspectives and keep Modulate’s culture inclusive to everyone.
- You may find meetings or writing documentation to be boring, but you’d never try to cut yourself off from that kind of work – you know transparency and staying aligned with the team is far too important to be a second priority.
- You respect your coworkers enough to tell them the truth – even when the truth is that you don’t think they are meeting the bar – because keeping that information from them means refusing them the chance to fix the problem.
- You are prepared to sometimes follow decisions you don’t fully understand as part of our ability to move fast; but that will never stop you from voicing questions and holding our leadership team accountable to living up to our values.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’re excited to sign up for a journey together. While each of our roles below includes key skills you should be prepared to demonstrate, Modulate is much more excited to hire someone passionate and ready to learn even if inexperienced, over someone who perfectly meets the bar today but has no interest in their role evolving as we grow.
CULTURE AND DE&I 👋🏾👋🏼👋🏻
Push your skills to the next level while joining a passionate and flexible team that, cliche as it sounds, really is making the world a better place. We’re a well-funded startup working with top social platforms and gaming studios to detect misbehavior, encourage friendship and collaboration, and ultimately ensure that the ‘multiverse’ is for everyone.
Beyond our lofty mission, our culture prioritizes autonomy, transparency, personal growth, and a constant desire to experiment and learn from others rather than to try to enforce conformity. We’re proud to compensate our team well, but we also want to ensure team members gain even more from their experience at Modulate. Thus, we strive to make sure that while anyone joining Modulate brings real value to the company, we also pay that back by providing them the chances and tools to grow so they can achieve their own goals in the future.
While hopefully the other content on this page makes it clear the ways in which we strive to keep our culture inclusive, it’s worth also talking about our efforts to build a sufficiently diverse team in the first place. We’ve put substantial effort into reducing bias during the recruiting and interview process. Of course, we first and foremost invest in getting the job postings out to a diverse range of communities and avoiding restrictive language; but the most interesting part of our process is that we avoid ever learning demographic info (age, name, sex/gender, etc) not only during the initial application, but during the phone screen as well! We do this by using an in-house-developed voice changing system (VoiceWear), so that we can conduct phone screens with candidates and still understand their words and emotion, while ensuring everyone’s voice sounds generically like it comes from the same biologically speaker.
Once a candidate reaches the final interview stage, we will ask them for their name and pronouns, and team members will meet them directly. But at this stage, we still use a structured rubric to ensure we’re assessing each candidate along the same dimensions, and minimizing opportunity for biases to creep back into the process.
MAINTAINING A SAFE SPACE👷🏼♀️
We have some explicit policies here – for instance, our website showcases everyone’s preferred pronouns to emphasize that we respect each person’s preferred identity. But we also simply try to constantly reinforce our core values around inclusivity and respect in softer ways. For one example of this, I recommend reading our CEO’s letter to the team regarding the 2020 election, which can be found here.
LEADERSHIP ENGAGEMENT 🦾
At Modulate, managers conduct (at minimum) monthly 1:1s which give the employee full control over what’s discussed – usually landing on talking about their career trajectory, work/life balance, or other high-level concerns. We also conduct quarterly 1:1s with skip-level managers (i.e. your boss’s boss) to ensure you have a relationship with your skip-level in case something goes wrong with your immediate boss.
Of course, aside from these structural things, personal growth is one of our core culture pillars and something we devote a lot of time and thought to in ways large and small.
CREATING CHANGE: STARTING WITH US 🤝
Today, to be frank, we’re a small startup – we can’t fix the world all at once, so we’re starting with ourselves. We’re focused on hiring a richly diverse team which aligns with our mission of creating more safety and inclusivity online – which we also expect to contribute to the creation of new opportunities for underrepresented people of all types! Of course, as we grow, we hope and intend to get more directly involved in larger-scale movements to improve access to education and decrease the tech industry’s reliance on obsolete credentials, in order to ensure that everyone and anyone can have their potential and passion fostered meaningfully.
INTERVIEW PROCESS 🖥
You can read about our interview process in full detail on our website here. The process is a bit unique due to our focus on minimizing implicit bias for our interviewers. But briefly:
- You apply online through the above link. (Filling out a lightweight application form; we do not accept resumes and care much more about what you can do than fancy credentials.)
- 30 minute phone screen with the hiring manager or a senior team member for the role you applied to. Your interviewer will not know your name, age, gender, etc, and they will run your voice through one of our VoiceWear ‘voice skins’ to avoid learning that information during the call. The discussion will be split between them sharing more details about the specific role, and giving you open-ended opportunities to speak about your fit for the work and the company overall. No “whiteboard coding” over the phone or anything like that.
- If you pass the phone screen, you’ll be invited for an “in-person” (Zoom during COVID times) full interview, which lasts about 2.5 hrs and consists of three sessions (focused on team fit/workstyle, your fit for the specific role responsibilities, and culture/values alignment.) Each session, you’ll meet two Modulate team members, ensuring you have the opportunity to connect with a good cross-section of the overall team.
🏄🏽♂️ Unlimited PTO for all salaried positions
🩺 Health and dental insurance
🎉 401k w/ additional company contributions
🚘 Commute assistance for public transit or parking
💵 Flexible offer packages (we offer a choice between a slightly higher salary with a slightly smaller option grant, or a slightly larger option grant but slightly lower salary.)