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Taiwanese-American makes mark at world’s 1st voice moderation startup

Modulate recognized by Time magazine as one of most influential companies in 2022

(Modulate image)

(Modulate image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Modulate, founded in 2018 by Mike Pappas and Carter Huffman, has been recognized by Time magazine as among the 100 most influential companies of 2022.

With expertise in corporate strategy, operations, and audio engineering, Modulate Vice President Terry Chen (陳雨果) was a founding member of the company and essential to its market success.

Chen told Taiwan News that Modulate’s principal product, ToxMod, is the world’s first voice-native moderation platform. It not only captures overt online toxicity (hate speech, adult language) but also more insidious harms like child grooming, violent radicalization, and self-harm, he explained.

Chen said, “ToxMod leverages cutting edge machine learning and digital signal processing algorithms to recognize when conversations begin to take a turn for the worse, at which point it automatically generates accurate, detailed reports to be analyzed by human moderators.”

The company’s future product, VoiceWear, will allow gamers to “truly embody their desired online persona, unlocking the power of voice for everyone,” he said.

Chen said what attracted him to join Modulate was the incredible initial team and the opportunity to shape its culture. The company embraces eight key values to maintain a safe and vibrant company culture, including autonomy, clarity, individuality, personal growth, joint ambition, respect, transparency, and positive impact, he added.

Chen said that he is “deeply passionate about building ethical safeguards in AI technology from the ground up.” He added that he loves to see the positive impact achieved through emerging technologies and enjoys helping to create a culture from the ground up.

“Getting out there and leading teams on our shared mission has been an intellectually rewarding endeavor.”

Chen said the company aims to make online gaming safe and inclusive for all players on all platforms. In the future, the team hopes to make voice chat safe across all online spaces.

When asked if he had any advice for young professionals, Chen said, “Focus is key in any venture. Isolate your processes from distractions and scope creep.” He added that "truly empathetic leadership is the way to manage teams successfully."

As a proud Taiwanese-American, Chen said he enjoys going to night markets and snacking on fried chicken cutlets and oyster vermicelli whenever he visits Taiwan.