The internet can often create echo chambers and as a result, some people are rarely ever exposed to differing opinions. The inspiration behind our project was to encourage hard conversations by connecting people to other people with differing opinions, allowing them to find a middle ground, and ultimately unifying society one step at a time.
What it does
There will be a list of 10 common debate questions that a user can select from, and select whether they agree or disagree with the motion, and based on these choices, our website will connect you to another person that is willing to talk discuss the same topic but has the opposite view. The debate questions would change automatically allowing users access to a range of different things to talk about.
How we built it
The video call was implemented using Twilio's API on a back-end server made using Express, and the website was built on React.js. We used Firebase to set up authentication, allowing users to log in using their Google account, and also used Firebase for hosting the website online.
Challenges we ran into
Initially settling on a potentially novel and feasible idea took a sizeable fraction of our time. The main challenge was connecting two people online and that too through a video call.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We developed an impressive amount of the website and video calling functionality for a time span of 24 hours. It was the first time many of us worked with an online chatroom application and we managed to get it working in the end.
What we learned
Some of us learnt a lot about using Twilio's API to set up video calls, some of us learnt a lot about Firebase hosting and authentication, and most of us further strengthened our React skills.
What's next for Middle Ground
First of all, completing and polishing the implementation of adding different people in different rooms concurrently, so that multiple debates could be going on at the same time. Then we would focus our attention on potentially using AI for filtering out profanity and hate speech. Furthermore, adding the functionality of allowing other users to spectate debates would also make it more entertaining and unifying. Lastly, Some kind of leaderboard system would motivate individuals to keep coming back every day and competing for top places.