Can AI improve mental health at work? Start-up introduces artificial intelligence tech to support employees
A new year means a new start as millions of us make resolutions for the coming 12 months – putting self care at the top of our agenda.
And with the workplace being where we spend most of our time, it is perhaps important to consider how we are looking after ourselves while sitting in front of our desks.
But while we make little changes to our lives to try and live happier, how can technology help us improve our mental health at work?
Startup Humu thinks it has the answer. Run by three ex-Google employees in California, the company uses AI to ‘nudge’ people into being happier at work.
According to the New York Times, Humu’s software monitors data from employee surveys to determine how each worker is doing.
It then communicates with workers via emails and text messages to remind them to take small actions designed to improve their happiness.
Laszlo Block, chief executive of Humu, told NYT: “We want to be the person we hope we can be. But we need to be reminded.
“A nudge can have a powerful impact if correctly deployed on how people behave and on human performance.”
Concerns have been raised about the nature of the nudges and who can give them.
Professor Todd Haugh of Indiana University said the nudges could push employees into behaving in ways that benefited their employers, rather than having their best interests at heart.
However, Jessie Wisdom of Humu dismissed this claim and insisted: “Anybody can do whatever they want.”
She added: “We’re never trying to get people to do things that they don’t actually want to do.”