Meet Shotaro, Developer at Kleros
Shotaro is developing Moderate, a fascinating application of Kleros for content moderation. Get to know his story!
Tell us a bit about you.
My name is Shotaro. My father is Dutch and my mother is Japanese. They met in the United States and that's where I was born and grew up.
I did my undergraduate studies in mathematics and mechanical engineering in the US and then moved to Berlin for a Master's program in scientific computing, the use of mathematical models and high performance computing to make simulations to guide engineering design.
For example, before Kleros I worked on a project that used these tools to simulate how shrimp swim.
And how did you make the transition from mechanical engineering to Kleros?
At some point, I realized I wanted to work on more social projects. I wanted to work with people. I think I always had this interest. But studying mathematics was a solid foundation for my career. It gives you tools that you can use for analyzing the real world.
Years ago, I even started using my math knowledge to mine data from Twitter and try to understand user's behavior.
When I learned about Ethereum, I started experimenting with tools like Uniswap and some DeFi apps. But I was more interested in the social and political applications of blockchain. And this is what drove me to Kleros.
I learned about Kleros around fall of 2020 when I found a video by Federico at Devcon Osaka. So, I went to the EthCC conference in Paris in March 2020 to meet the team. Soon after, I started as an intern.
Kleros was building fascinating tools that no one else was building. This is what made me want join the team.
What do you do at Kleros?
Right now, I'm working mostly on content moderation. In particular, how we can use Kleros to moderate content in social media?
We have developed a proof of concept for a product called Kleros Moderate which uses a moderation bot called Susie. The idea is to crowdsource moderation and to apply community rules such as no physical threats, no harassment and no derogatory behavior.
Users can flag others that break the rules. And then there's a resolution made by Kleros. We are testing the product in one of Kleros groups and gaining feedback to make it more user friendly and scalable.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like traveling.
And also music, like jazzy hip-hop. In particular, a Japanese producer called Nujabes, a kind of instrumental jazzy hip-hop.
As I'm based in Berlin, I enjoy the techno music and the clubbing culture.
When I was doing my onboarding into Kleros in Lisbon, I did a lot of skateboarding. Going to a skate park is also a great way to meet people if you're new in town.
Anything else you want to share with the audience? Maybe some book recommendation?
There's a book called "Artist of Life" by the martial arts expert Bruce Lee. Besides his acting career, he studied philosophy at the University of Washington. Towards the end of his life, he was working on a collection of essays that were collected in this book.
I also like Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges. I'm reading his translated works. One of my favorites is "The Library of Babel", a really nice short story about philosophical questions on what is truth and what is meaning.
And recently I have also been reading "The Network State" by Balaji Srinivasan. He brings fresh ideas that no other people are writing about.
Any final words you want to share with the audience?
Watching that video by Federico at the Osaka conference opened a new professional career for me. For people who are interested in the type of work we do, come see us at some conference.
We're always looking for people who are passionate about the type of social problems we want to solve and the technologies we use. We have people from everywhere and with different backgrounds. All united over a common goal.
So yeah, come meet the Kleros team and pursue your dreams!