Informatik, TU Wien

The Place of Human Intention and Intelligence in Computing in Mental Health

Lessons learned from several years of working in agile research partnerships with public organisations, the third sector, and hard-to-reach-groups.

Abstract

During this talk we share lessons learned from several years of working in agile research partnerships with public organisations, the third sector, and hard-to-reach-groups. These partnerships included homeless people, small island communities, and adults diagnosed with autism. Specifically, we introduce an ‘intentive' approach to computing in mental health (CMH) as an alternative to the prevailing ‘affective’ or ‘prosthetic’ approaches to CMH that strive to offer seamless extensions to human capabilities and compensations for 'disabilities'. We argue that, by giving too much agency to the 'computing’ aspect of CMH the risk is to miss out on a whole spectrum of design possibilities where human intelligence can truly leverage on knowledge created 'with' and not just 'by' the machine. We discuss and reflect on how such a participatory ‘values-first’ process has shaped our code by using a family of ‘intentive computing’ devices emerged from a research partnership with adult with autisms and their support as a case study. We reflect on the impact of our approach and discuss its transferability to other mental conditions and domains beyond health.

Team Clasp

We are an agile technology innovation team with expertise in rapid prototyping, agile development and participatory action research. The Clasp core research team (Maria Angela Ferrario – team lead and Will Simm – technical lead) is flexible and well connected, so can quickly reconfigure to bring in additional diverse expertise into the team as required including: clinical psychology, chemistry, design as well as health practitioners and developers. Both the core team and Clasp project PI, Jon Whittle, are based at the School of Computing and Communications (SCC), Lancaster University, UK. The team has many years’ experience working together in research partnership with end-users, communities, practitioners, businesses and cultural organisations in projects such as Catalyst . More info: http://myclasp.org/

Note

This talk is part of the IGW Seminar series at the Institute of Design and Assessment of Technology.