Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar

Founder, Omidyar Group


Pierre Omidyar is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who is best known as the founder of eBay. Starting from the premise that people are basically good, Pierre Omidyar created eBay in 1995 – an online platform that gives people equal access to information, opportunity, and tools to pursue their goals. Today Pierre is Chairman of eBay, which enables more than 90 million buyers and sellers to connect and prosper over shared interests. In addition, buyers and sellers can send and receive funds through eBay’s global payment engine, PayPal, which operates in 190 markets and 24 currencies.

Pierre and his wife Pam are active philanthropists who believe that every person has the power to make a difference. They have contributed more than $1 billion to programs spanning a range of causes, from poverty alleviation to human rights to disaster relief. To fulfill their mission Pierre and Pam created four organizations, where they remain actively involved today: Omidyar Network, Humanity United, HopeLab, and Ulupono Initiative. While each organization has a specific focus, they are united in that they all aim to create opportunities for people to improve their quality of life.

Through his board role and ongoing involvement, Pierre provides the vision and strategic direction for Omidyar Network, and helps shape the investment initiatives. Omidyar Network invests in and supports organizations around the world in areas such as microfinance, property rights, and government transparency.

Pierre serves as a trustee of Santa Fe Institute, Punahou School, and as a commissioner for President Barack Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Pierre is also CEO and Publisher of Honolulu Civil Beat, a local news service in Hawaii that encourages greater civic participation through media.

Pierre was born in Paris, France, and moved to the U.S. during grade school. He graduated with a computer science degree from Tufts University in 1988. Pierre lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, with his wife and three children.

Omidyar was previously a member of the 21st Century Council.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE