Zapraszamy na seminarium z serii Critical Mental Health, które odbędzie się 16.01.2024 o godz. 16:00 (do 17:30).
Prelegentka: Prof. Claudia Lang (University of Leipzig & Tufts University)
Tytuł wystapienia: “Machine learning to care: Imagining, encoding and experiencing automated therapy in India”.
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Prof. Claudia Lang (University of Leipzig/ Tufts University)
Title: Machine learning to care: Imagining, encoding and experiencing automated therapy in India
Abstract – A growing digital mental health market is characterized by techno-utopian imaginaries to transform or even reinvent care through digitization and artificial intelligence (AI). Proponents celebrate digital therapy as a scalable and cost-effective solution to missing or inadequate infrastructures and globally increasing demand for mental health care, further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Critics criticize techno-reductionism and worry about dehumanization and surveillance. In this article, I offer a more nuanced and complex picture as a corrective to these polarized debates, by ethnographically examining a digital mental health app’s becoming. Using the case of Wysa, I aim to understand how designers imagine the app to help people in dealing with mental challenges, how they encode these assumptions into the app, and how users experience and respond to Wysa. Designers and users imagine the app’s achievements and failures in terms of agency, and these imaginaries are ambiguous. Although designers try to encode empathetic listening into the chatbot, users do not necessarily or always experience it that way, and there are distortions and frustrations in many cases. Designers, however, do not see this as failure but rather as valuable feedback in the process of “failing forward”.