Eugene Yi ’04: Fostering constructive conversation
Photo by Ryanna Allen
Eugene Yi ’04 is the co-founder and director of Cortico, a nonprofit organization established in 2016 that uses machine learning to facilitate deeper conversations and healthier community decision-making against the polarization of modern social media. Cortico created the Local Voices Network, a joint project with the MIT Center for Constructive Communication.
The initiative aims to create new civic infrastructure that brings underheard voices into local politics and binds people together in a more human-oriented fashion. The effort utilizes technology that can more accurately assess public opinion than analyzing the polarized climate of social media.
The current systems of communication that we have are not going to do this. We need new ways of engaging for our democracy to work.It saw significant use during the 2020 Madison (Wisc.) police chief and the 2021 Boston mayoral elections. Yi lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and daughter and is working part-time on a Ph.D. — examining the dynamics of emergent digital governance — at Oxford University.