Redesigning our info ecosystem to improve political discourse
Vulnerabilities in our information ecosystem are creating a crisis in our democracy that is deeper, older and more systemic than fake news or filter bubbles. Project Ratio seeks to address this crisis. In addition to advancing fundamental understanding of information production, consumption, and comprehension, Project Ratio will bring together tech and media companies, academics and engineering talent to pursue solutions around three core questions: (1) What are the shortcomings in our current information ecosystem and our collective goals for improvement? (2) What conditions, mechanisms and interactions support, or impede, rational political discourse? (3) What social practices and tech can be built to establish, improve and grow these mechanisms at scale? Equal parts research effort, tech incubator, and alliance, Project Ratio is the work of Duncan J. Watts and David Rothschild of Microsoft Research and is currently in development. Early project phases focus on building innovative systems for data collection and experimentation, and collaborative cross-sector networks.