Backend Developer, Poetic Justice

by Jessica Sisavath

July 12, 2021

Job Description

Poetic Justice at MIT Media Lab is exploring new forms of social justice through art. We’re currently looking for two Backend Developers to work on a series of participatory public artworks for which we’ve been collecting sound and video recordings from participants around the world and remixing them into sound and video works, including A Counting and Freedom Radio. A Counting has been featured on NPR and in the New York Times.

We’re now looking for creatively-inclined and highly self-directed Backend Developers to scale our existing backend systems for collecting audio and video recordings, editing and transcribing multilingual voice recordings, analyzing transcripts, and generating stories using transcripts. However, preferably you’d be working in the NYC or Boston area.

This position is for one year with the possibility of extension based on research funding. 


  • Develop interactive voice response (IVR) systems using Twilio and Vonage;
  • Develop scalable systems to record, store and manage audio and video recordings;
  • Develop scalable systems to transcribe audio and video recordings in multiple languages and formats;
  • Develop scalable tools for narrative generation;
  • Develop dashboards and reports for user engagement and topic generation, content summarization.

Supervision Received:

Reports to Prof. Ijeoma under general supervision

Supervision Exercised:


This position is for one year. 



  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or related field;
  • Minimum of three years of web development/architecture experience;
  • Minimum of two years of experience with Python using Flask or Django;
  • Minimum two years of experience with third party APIs within Python web applications;
  • Minimum of three years of experience with modern DevOps tools, such as Git and GitHub;
  • Ability to work creatively and analytically;
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely in both technical and non-technical language;
  • Ability to collaborate and pair-program effectively;
  • Ability to work independently.


  • Experience with installation, configuration, and development including work within a production environment;
  • Experience with DevOps and Agile engineering practices;
  • Experience deploying systems into a production Cloud Native Environment with major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform ;
  • Experience with NLP libraries such as Spacy, Hugging Face, and NLTK;
  • Experience with web application design and development using React or Angular;
  • Experience with voice application design and development using Twilio or Vonage;
  • Experience with Twitter and Slack bot development.

To apply, go to and search for job ID#19847.

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