In one corner is the online information architecture with sophisticated personalization algorithms and persuasive designs that shape people's information diets, often without their knowledge or input. In the other corner is human cognition with its bounded resources and sensitivity to subtle environmental and social cues making it vulnerable to manipulation.
What could possibly go wrong?
If the two are brought together without much analysis and accountability, the public ceases to have control over the flow of information in our interconnected world. Unwanted consequences include the decrease of privacy and autonomy, the spread of false news, the rise of radicalization and polarization, as well as the decline in epistemic quality of information, all of which jeopardize the democratic discourse.
Our mission is to analyze the interaction and potential conflict between the online information architecture and people's cognitive abilities, and to provide cognitively and technologically sound solutions to redress the critical impact of the current information architecture on the public good.
We pursue two lines of attack:
We adhere to these principles:
We pursue these principal steps: