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Future Leaders Spotlight: Alexey Elkin (AI & Democracy)

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September 13, 2023

At the core of TPI is the mission to educate and support the next generation of tech policy leaders. Our Future Leaders Program partners talented students with our expert academic mentors to work on innovative projects that help give them the experience they need to thrive.

For this installment of the Future Leaders Spotlight TPI Executive Director James Patton Rogers spoke with Computer Science student and TPI Innovation Fellow, Alexey Elkin. Working alongside fellow student, Ray Wang, and mentored by Professor Sarah Kreps (TPI Director), Alexy developed a new AI management tool that could revolutionize the way governments and industry manage high-volume email accounts.

  • Hey Alexy, thanks for taking the time to chat. Tell us about the software you’ve been developing – how is it innovative and what does it offer to society?

Thanks James, this project is a management tool intended to help people oversee high-volume email inboxes. It provides a set of features that allow users to get a quick overview of the topics and contents of thousands of emails. It also provides a tool that scans individual emails and flags them if it is suspected that they have been written by a Machine Learning algorithm like ChatGPT-4. This tool will allow high profile customers (like managers or politicians) to organize their mail in a way that would let them isolate important emails and focus on them, making their work more effective.

  • What have you learnt by working with the Cornell Brooks Tech Policy Institute on the AI Democracy project – what skills have you honed?

I have improved my skills with React and Node.js as well as my collaboration skills. Working with other developers has also made me more mindful of the importance of effective planning and repository management. Additionally, I learned how to use Google’s Gmail API and integrate it into my own projects.

Overall, working with TPI has been a great learning experience, and I cherish the time I spent developing this project. I hope that in the future it will have a big impact on the way high-profile customers manage their mail.

  • What’s next in your research and your career?

I am planning to finish my Undergraduate CS degree and enroll in the Cornell M.Eng. CS program. At the current moment, I am looking for a Summer Internship and more research opportunities. I am interested in SWE and Machine Learning, as well as Data Science.

  • What advice would you give to the next generation of students seeking a similar career path to you?

It is important to create a roadmap before working on a project – planning ahead is critical and will help development go smoothly and effectively.

That’s all from me Alexy, thanks for your time and for giving some insight into the excellent work you, Ray and Sarah been doing at TPI. If people would like to see more of Alexy’s work, you can check out his personal website:

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Alexy Elkin is a student in Computer Science. A member of the Cornell Cybersecurity Club, his research focuses on Software Engineering and Machine Learning.

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Dr James Patton Rogers is the Executive Director of the Cornell Brooks Tech Policy Institute. Twitter: @DrJamesRogers