Maxwell's childhood dream was to become a DJ and lexicographer. Little did he know he would find his calling at Google's Santa Monica offices, where the sometime experimental poet and former bullfight promoter (for the French tourism board) is now a machine-learning specialist who spends his days focusing on text summarization and classification. (His evenings are spent DJing for a nearby radio station; one of his recent shows featured the best of Burmese rock.) "The Haiku version of what I do is I teach robots how to read," says Maxwell, 36, who studied nine languages and worked as a pamphleteer, the editor of a journal of international literature and an art cinema operator before ending up at Google.
Last updated January 22 2008: 8:01 AM ET