Personalised persuasion: the road travelled and future directions

Professor Shlomo Berkovsky

Abstract: Active work on personalised persuasive technologies has gone for over a decade and uncovered the synergies between the worlds of personalisation and persuasion. This talk will overview the highlights in this space and predict its path forward. Initially, we will revisit the very premise of personalised persuasive technologies. Then, we will turn to the prominent advancements in personalisation and persuasion, fuelled by the tremendous progress in AI technologies that happened in this decade. Finally, we will interlock the two worlds again, in an attempt to outline high-potential directions in personalised persuasive technologies for the next decade.

Shlomo Berkovsky is the leader of the Clinical AI and Sensing Technologies research stream at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University. The stream focusses on the use of AI methods to develop patient models and personalised predictions of diagnosis and care. Also, the stream investigates how sensors and physiological responses can predict medical conditions, and how clinicians and patients interact with health technologies. Computer Scientist by training, Shlomo possesses deep theoretical and applied expertise in several areas related to human-centric application of AI and he is particularly interested to understand how people interact online with information, technologies, and other people.

Opportunities and Challenges in Persuasive Technology for Mental Health

Associate Professor Terry Fleming

Abstract: Mental ill health is common and disabling. There are many evidence-based apps and online therapies with demonstrated effectiveness but with poor engagement by communities. Here, there are major opportunities for increased use of persuasive technology. At the same time, there are powerful concepts in psychotherapeutic research which might enrich persuasive technologies for health. Examples include help-negation, assessing unintended harms and empirically supported principles of therapeutic change.
This presentation will explore promising intersections between persuasive technology and mental health research for health and equity gains. Terry will share lessons from the development and implementation of SPARX and other online interventions for mental health and wellbeing and from community research regarding real world use of online tools for wellbeing.

Terry’s clinical background is in the development and delivery of youth mental health services in underserved communities. She became involved in the development of digital tools for mental health in order to put evidence-based therapies in the hands of youth workers and others with strong relationships with young people. Today Terry is an Associate Professor in the School of Health at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University Wellington and the President of ISRII, the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions. Terry is a co-developer of SPARX computerised CBT for adolescent depression, one of the most effective computerised adolescent CBT programmes globally. Her research is on gamification and scalable approaches to improve mental health and wellbeing in communities.