Astro Teller Profile

  • As "Captain of Moonshots" at Alphabet's X (formerly known as Google X), Teller has overseen some of Alphabet's most ambitious projects including Google Glass, Project Loon, Waymo (Google's driverless cars), Project Wing, and Google Contact Lens.

  • A brilliant technologist and scientist, Teller holds multiple US and international patents and has founded and grown five companies including Cerebellum Capital and BodyMedia, Inc., a wearable fitness company which was sold for $100 million.

  • Focused on accomplishing giant leaps rather than incremental improvements, Teller teaches audiences how to build environments and teams capable of taking crazy ideas and turning them into realities.
  • Astro Teller is “Captain of Moonshots” at Alphabet’s X, formerly known as Google X and Google’s R&D factory. The seasoned inventor, scientist, and entrepreneur oversees one of the world’s most talented technological teams in developing solutions to dozens of humanity’s most pressing issues.

    After earning his doctorate degree in computer science from Carnegie Melon, Teller founded BodyMedia, Inc., a company that created wearable technology that monitored and recorded health data. It was acquired in 2013 by Jawbone for $100 million. In total, Teller has launched and grown 5 companies, another of which is Cerebellum Capital, a hedge fund management firm that uses statistical machine learning and 30 years of research to drive its investments.

    Teller holds numerous US and international patents and has been directing Alphabet’s X laboratory (AKA “Google’s Secret Lab”) since 2010. Publicly known projects under his supervision include Google Glass, Project Loon, Google’s driverless cars, Google Contact Lens, and Project Wing. While he is unable to discuss every aspect of his work, he has given several high profile keynotes and interviews on artificial intelligence development as well as how to cultivate “moonshot thinking” in an organization. Teller has presented for TED, SXSW, Abundance 360, MIT, and Stanford.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Dr. Astro Teller is currently Captain of Moonshots (CEO) of X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory for building magical, audacious ideas that through science and technology can be brought to reality. Astro is also co-founder and a current Director of Cerebellum Capital, Inc, a hedge fund management firm whose investments are continuously designed, executed, and improved by a software system based on techniques from statistical machine learning. Astro was also the co-founder and CEO of BodyMedia, Inc, a leading wearable body monitoring company that was sold to Jawbone in 2013.

      From 2007 to 2010, Astro was the founding CEO of Cerebellum Capital. From 1999 to 2007, Dr. Teller was the founding CEO of BodyMedia, Inc. From 2003 to 2010, Astro was a co-founder and Chairman of Zivio Technologies, an intellectual property holding company. Prior to starting BodyMedia, Dr. Teller was co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Sandbox Advanced Development, an advanced development technology company. Before his tenure as a business executive, Dr. Teller taught at Stanford University and was an engineer and researcher for Phoenix Laser Technologies, Stanford’s Center for Integrated Systems, and The Carnegie Group Incorporated. Dr. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Masters of Science in symbolic and heuristic computation, also from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a recipient of the prestigious Hertz fellowship.

      As a respected scientist and seasoned entrepreneur, Teller has successfully created and grown five companies and holds numerous U.S. patents related to his work in hardware and software technology. Dr. Teller’s work in science, literature, art, and business has appeared in international media from the <i>New York Times</i> to CNN to NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Teller regularly gives invited talks for national and international technology, government, and business forums on the subjects of innovation and the future of intelligent technology.

      Astro is also a writer. In 1997 Random House published his first novel, <i>Exegesis</i>, which went on to critical acclaim and publication around the world in many other languages. He has since published a second novel, sold a movie to Paramount, placed many op-ed pieces and journal articles, and his third book, this one a non-fiction work co-authored with his wife, Danielle Teller, called <i>Sacred Cows</i>, about our society’s confusions about marriage and divorce, was published in July of 2014.

    Astro Teller Speaking Videos

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    Astro Teller's Speech Descriptions

    Entrepreneur, scientist, and “Captain of Moonshots” at Alphabet’s X, Astro Teller teaches audiences how to build environments and teams capable of taking crazy ideas and turning them into realities. Teller’s most requested talks and workshops focus on the human aspect of innovation such as how to create a culture that incentivizes progress, learning and asking the right questions. While most organizations aim to go 10% bigger, Teller specializes in leading teams that aim to go 10 times bigger. Due to his work on paradigm shattering projects like self-driving cars and AI, Teller is often asked to share his insights on the latest technological developments and how they will alter our businesses and lives.

    Some of Teller's most recent speaking engagements include:

    Abundance 360: They're Not Listening to What You Say
    Astro talks to CEO’s about how little their employees listen to the lip service of the company and what it takes to get them to really believe that you want them to take moonshots.

    Secrets to Building a Diverse Dream Team
    Keynote at the Grace Hopper Conference on how to bring out differences in people in surprising ways that lead to radically better solutions to the problems being worked on.

    Entrepreneurship Though Leadership Talk at Stanford
    How smart bets on world-changing innovations are aided by a culture that celebrates finding the biggest flaws.

    AI vs. Superbabies
    At the first annual Silicon Valley Comic Con, Astro Teller and Danielle Teller debate whether humanity is more likely to be destroyed by AI or by genetic engineering.

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    Books by Astro Teller:

    Sacred Cows

    Drs. Astro and Danielle Teller know better than most that finding the right partner in life does not always happen the first time around. Through their own divorces they learned how widely held cultural assumptions and misinformation that nobody thinks to question – what they refer to as sacred cows – create unnecessary heartache for people who are already suffering through a terrible time.

    Do you think, for example, that the divorce rate in the United States is rising? Or that children are harmed by divorce? Most people do, but it turns out that neither of these notions is supported by the data. Combining the rigor that has established them as leaders in their respective fields along with a dose of good-natured humor, the Tellers ask readers to take a fresh look at seven common sacred cows: the Holy Cow, the Expert Cow, the Selfish Cow, the Defective Cow, the Innocent Victim Cow, the One True Cow, and the Other Cow. This is not a book that is for marriage or for divorce, but for the freedom to decide how to live most honestly and happily either as part of a couple or a single person. In the same way that Esther Perels bestselling Mating in Captivity gave couples a fresh perspective on their married life, so Sacred Cows invites reader to question assumptions and conventional wisdom. It offers a smart, insightful, and sympathetic view for those in a marital crisis, marriage counselors, or anyone looking to gain a fresh perspective on one of our most cherished and misunderstood institutions.

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