The United States of America have become increasingly polarized since 2004. This trend is detrimental to its democratic society since it induces a loss of social cohesion. Other factors that exacerbate social cohesion include the loss of a shared reality between media consumers, confirmation bias amongst media consumers, the ease to spread falsehood on the internet and a political under-commitment of the American population. This work aims to restore social cohesion in the United States of America by exposing users to a broader perspective on broadcast television news. A mobile app “Enlightened: Broaden Your Views” was developed using the React-Native framework to present users with short, summarized video clips generated from television news using “SuperGlue” – a metadata generator for mass media, written in Python. A Python Flask API was written to serve the URLs of the summarized clips to the mobile application. The mobile application targets a growing 26 million user niche market.
Mike developed the automatic summarization module, Flask API, and the cross-platform mobile app as well as the video processing infrastructure SuperGlue as part of his Master’s thesis for ETH Zurich. In spring 2019, he supervised one MIT undergraduate engineer to add more features to the app. In summer 2019, he is leading one UX designer (Wellesley) and three mobile developers (MIT/Wellesley) to finalize the app to be shipped to the app store by the end of September 2019. The user data will be used to study its effectiveness in helping people broaden their views.
React Native, Firebase, Python, Flask, Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, MongoDB, Heroku, Leadership.