Taryn Southern is a digital storyteller whose videos have received more than 500 million views across YouTube. Founder of digital production + consulting company Happy Cat Media, Taryn has advised dozens of companies on digital strategies, influencer campaigns, and produced more than 1,500 videos for companies like Snapchat, Marriott, Maker Studios, Today Show, ATTN, and more.
Passionate about the intersection of science, tech, and storytelling, she is currently producing a documentary on the future of the human brain and the first album composed with artificial intelligence, I AM AI, to be released in early 2018. As an avid blockchain enthusiast, Taryn recently launched the world’s first tokenized song that enables large numbers of people to collaborate and share in royalties using Ethereum smart contracts and Ladies of Crypto, a cryptocurrency community for women.
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How to Take Your Power Back with Social Media and Cutting-Edge Tech with Taryn Southern
Time stamped show notes:
[01:12] When Taryn was 17 years old, she drove across the US to audition for American Idol. She was on the show for a couple of months and competed in the finals. She forgot all of her lyrics on a national TV. She was determined that she would never perform in front of the camera again.
[01:49] Went to college and studied Anthropology, instead of performing arts.
[05:32] After college, went back to LA to host a pilot for Discovery Channel that led her to pursue jobs in the entertainment industry.
[05:43] She was also a writer, producer, and digital media personality/YouTuber.
[08:24] Movements that have taken over Hollywood and other industries
[08:45] Taryn: I think I would have a very different perception as to how to go about this industry and perceiving my own power.
[11:45] Humans are complicated, and a lot of us have made mistakes. Figure out how to move through these situations and come out being transparent and being more accepting and open minded so we don’t leave things happening in the darkness.
[12:015] We just needed to be mad. Kill the monster while it's small, and don’t wait until it’s hurting other people.
[16:27] Started more and more YouTube videos around 2012, and it became clear that she can make it for a living doing that. She quit everything else around 2014.
[16:47] She also worked for a lot of companies to produce digital content for them, help them with their digital media strategy, get influencers into their videos. It was interesting and fun, but she realized that around 2016 she was burnt out.
[17:55] She was burnt out, and she thought that this was not self-sustainable.
[18:17] She was dis-empowered by the algorithms.
[19:16] She started getting excited about AR VR Communities. She learned how to make VR Content, 360 and animated content.
[20:06] Started playing around with AI and released a couple of singles that she composed using AI programs: IBM Watson and Amper, Google Magenta, Iva.
[20:31] How AI changed the process: It depends on the AI platform and what it is build to do by different software engineers. The process really is not that different from working with a human collaborator; it just depends on the skill sets that your other collaborators bring to the table.
[25:26] Humans are so biased and myopic in our thinking. In some ways, she thinks AI will going to be a big eye opener for us.
[25:56] Project that was upturned by the latest event: It’s a documentary that explores what it means to be human by following scientists.
[27:35] She thinks we are moving to this era of self-directed evolution, where we can pick anything basically with synthetic biology, and with AI we can create anything we want outside of ourselves.
[29:24] Crypto: Started a group with two other girl friends called Ladies of Crypto, a Facebook group.
[36:19] Artist are supported through advertisers, and she thinks that's destroying the art.
[38:03] Exciting things learned in the last year: She can’t believe how fast everything is moving with technology. Implications of this in our society are so huge.
[43:00] Taryn: I wish everyone knew that there is no one path to success. Being curious and flexible on your thinking and way of being is probably one of the greatest tool that you can have in your token right now.
Three key points:
- Perceiving your own power.
- There are new ways to bring people together, collaborate, incentivize creative collaborations.
- Everything is moving with technology.