Political, media and technological forces have driven us into isolated, like-minded camps hostile toward outside views and ripe for the spread of misinformation, mischaracterization of others, hateful discourse, and even violence. The loudest, most extreme voices now dominate the public sphere, stifling communication that might bridge ever-widening and increasingly dangerous divides.
The MIT Center for Constructive Communication is bringing together researchers in AI, computational social science, digital interactive design, and learning technologies with software engineers, journalists, artists, public health experts, and community organizers to explore and address the effects of deepening societal fragmentation in America.
Led by Professor Deb Roy and based at the Media Lab, this Institute-wide Center will leverage data-driven analytics to better understand current social and mass media ecosystems and design new tools and communication networks capable of bridging social, cultural, and political divides.
An important aspect of the new Center is our commitment to reach beyond academia to work closely with local organizations and trusted influencers in underserved, marginalized communities across the country. These collaborations will be critical for launching pilot programs to evaluate which tools offer the greatest potential to create more trusted communication within and across communities nationwide.