Empathic Technology

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Empathic Technology
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Smartwatches and fitness trackers offer so much for our health and wellness. But while sensors can augment, they also distort our perception of ourselves and overload our brains. We don’t process data, we process experiences. That is what technology must deliver. Research on our sense of self tells us that physiology holds the key to our feelings and experience. At doppel, we use this research to create technologies that naturally change how you feel, think and behave. By focusing technology on emotions, as well as rationality, we can make life as productive, pleasant and powerful as possible.
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but the therapy and citizens be things low
the it's great that you're all here and what I'd like to talk about is really something fairly basic which is why where wearables at all what is in the technology
that makes us human how to make technology that makes us human an making technology is really what makes us human we make things but when we make it that also changes who we are and so there's a lot of choices to be made there which is what I want to talk about as we go forward with technology who we are as hardware is likely to change the miniaturization of technology makes possible a lot of wearables we can put on their bodies in the Internet of Things makes connected technology possible which opens up a lot of new possibilities there's robotics so we are are is likely to coevolve and our future might be a lot like the way the hummingbird has co-evolved with a flower it's grown at big the the fate In certain flowers when we make stuff we change who we are and so
what does this do and what is the role for human this in this what do where most tell us right now for the human according to where it was 1 point of is something like this sensor a lot of sensors replacing the senses out of demanding how we can feel we can improve our vision we can also see things that are not there we can change our environment and we can change who we are now there's some wonderful things about the having sensors there are 7 help me hold on my running times when I'm an athlete is great having sensors that can measure my sugar levels when them of that the gate and send that to my doctor or even help me correct automatically measure the levels is fantastic but for the rest of us what does is to and you could say that a lot of what he does is actually diminish what is already on our body mistrust trust what we have and replace it with some other sensor the sensor can produce numbers other senses can now but the idea of the the gym and afterwards should look at my race to find out how tired or I should have a smart water bottle the tell me from Thursday but doesn't seem to be the the right thing In 1 important reason that should not be the right thing is the demand that this makes for attention so evolution has spend millions of years embedding a lot of the cognitive processing in our nervous system I don't have to think when I reach for a glass of water and I don't think when I sit down because I'm tired so having senses the produced data that then I have to process with my conscious brain is interesting way to do this and not the best use of my brain really but it also effects are attend intention and what our intention should be so in order to attract the attention what we do is that we building things like the mitigation and addictive processes so you give rewards if you walk 10 thousand steps a day you make me scroll through screens deceive something interesting is happening when I do that my intention is affected in ways that are not necessarily thinking about and even if I know it it can be hard to break away from it when I 1st got bit last year I find myself on well England and I I would bike everywhere but it doesn't count what of cycle it only comes with I woke so I was really really tempted by and actually did it take their tube and then walk up that goes uptown that brother just by the whole thing and in spite of my best efforts it was impossible to just not do that but I really like getting that award and just hitting the 10 thousand stable everyday so to get back on my bike I had to stop using the Fitbit so now the question is when do you make choices do they make the choice when I leave the house with think that you were the bike or did they make the choice when about the fact but there so there are questions about attention and intention and what they really go back to is a fundamental preference would you for the mind over the body so the idea that the body is kind of weak and doesn't do things quite right so we want to pack our bodies and we want a hacker motivations and just make us do stuff that we wouldn't otherwise do
so I would say that the mind is wonderful and should do what it's good that and a thing to look at
is the body and everything that happens in your body and the
part of the body that makes yourself and that is part of your Commission and we do know that we don't process data process experiences and the experiences do not happen from the neck up they do involve everything so if we want to make our experiences such that they make us more human they help us do what we want to do and live live their life that we want to do we do have to engage the whole body so I'll tell you now what
we do and we are and then I go back to some of the science behind what we do I'm so I'm part London start up company we've been running for the almost 2 years now the we are at scientists designers and engineers and are area is technology that changes how you feel things and behave and our 1st product is possible Bhopal and 8 wearable that can make you calm and focused or energized on demand in a natural way and you can use it when you're working to focus on your task you can use it
when you're giving a presentation on it I always use it when I give presentations and makes me more focused more coherent less nervous it you can but it
on when you want to go for a run and get yourself to go hotter we'll then put it
on when you want to children reacts so how does it work was actually the
science behind it you access to all the time yourselves when you want to run faster what you do is you put your iPod on we're fast music when you wonder why not and you will put some slow music now when you put music on to change essentially your energy level and how you feel a lot of what is going on behind that is that your
body response the rhythm the rhythm of the music of the fast rhythm gets you going slower rhythm is calming and soothing and essentially
this has a river minutes and that rhythm is everything that you feel it works also there it doesn't have to be a written that here are in that you feel is something you can also do like when I'm on stage I can't put the right music on but I can feel the beat but there is another thing that is important about this the rhythm is not a simple beat these are heartbeat so what you feel is a pop up about of of and I feel it where would normally feel my heart beat on inside of virus where my pulse some uh welcome to my pulse and there's something important about this because we respond to other people's rhythms more than 2 a simple rhythm we are tuned in to sink into people's by reference is really interesting when you walk with somebody down the street you will find your footsteps falling in saying 2 people sleeping in a bed together therefore breathing synchronizes people singing acquire the heartbeat synchronized are mother and child actually a mother and the fetus in a very complex way their heartbeats getting saying it is in a study which is really just a fun on vowel lovers their heartbeat synchronized so they have a man and a woman lovers sitting in chairs looking at each other and their heartbeats pit getting saying and interestingly enough is the woman that sings the lid i so it has a deep and it has a human B and that does affect how you feel and we've had this externally test that we had in the I mean we did a lot of ourselves but we also had independent expert psychologist run a control test on this so the standard way that you would dumb test focus which is what we wanted to rules to test is essentially a time reaction test so what you do is that you see the subject you put a device or the control on them and you see them in front of a computer screen and something pops up at random times and as of the has the press the Spacebar when they see that the light flashing on and you measure reaction times but the interesting thing is on average your reaction time is about 500 ms now if you take longer than that substantially longer that means you were not paying attention it means you were thinking about something else now on an average test that runs 5 minutes you will make 8 lapses you will miss it 8 times if Eurydice it half set so he does work and the way that you would
use it is that aid talks to or not and you want to take the the rhythms of you like there's a library of rhythms you can make your own so it's a little bit like choosing your music in this case you choose the beats that you want to act to and feel to now what is behind
this for us this is the 1st product and it's a door to a new place and how did we come about doing this and I'd like to share that with you cause I think it's interesting and I hope there is more that others can do in that area we started by looking at the research and working with psychologists all in the sense of self and how your sense of self is rooted in your body and the area of Psychophysiology which is essentially the feedback loop between your mind and your body and who we are is tied up with are bodies from the time we're born when you're a
little baby you 1st have to find out who you are what space do you take how do you
interact with stuff your what changes with time sometimes radically you still yourself not quite the same person but your sense of self changes with your body your
sense of self in your body are not always complaining fusion it's a complicated process Fuller the laws that might have is with anorexia for example the sense of their body is quite fervor dead and it's a complex psychological and physiological mechanisms of who they are and who they think they are end because it's
such an amazing area there is a lot of experiments people are on working to understand how our sense of self comes to be from how our body is our perception and our interoception and there's a really cool experiments that the effect that a lot of what we're doing that I'd like to talk to you about you might have seen it it's called the rubber hand illusion so what you doing this experiment you put the subjects and on the table and they have they're really a hand somewhere behind a screen that they cannot see and in front of them instead they have a say 10 and what the experimenter does is that experiment caresses both the real hand and the fake have exactly the same way and something amazing happens after about 2 minutes your body starts disconnecting Uriel hand and adopting the fake ones that you know very well it's if somebody were to hit the fake hand people recoil expanding pain it's a of the nomic system responds your real hand the temperature drops your body literally disconnect serial hand and adopts a new 1 how can that have how can you say that a blob is your hands all well what's behind this is
actually an amazing mechanism multisensory integration so I toss example of multisensory integration is when you're out in the street and you know which corresponding you hear hunting and you can point to which 1 it is that is honking if you think about it this is very complicated you look at cars you hear cars how do you combine those sensors to point to which are it is that is honking this is a very complex process and that process actually gets perverted if you like when you do things like the rubber hand illusion you're always see a hand where you would normally see your hands Europe attach your senses feel the touch exactly the right way and so you the process starts integrating what you feel and what you see the wrong way
now these things clearly clearly can't be used to change how you feel to change who you think you are and these were the very what what we were experimenting with when we were doing this work so we did start indeed with the rubber hand illusion and looking at how to embed enough I change sense of self in technology but bad in this
process we also game and up on the importance of revenge and of the heartbeat and this is actually what Bhopal look like when we started from an Arduino with a bunch of duct tape around it and we did put it on people and you realize that actually did affect how they felt in a very simple way of being that that it was really easy to integrate in what they wear doing we did a lot of
testing we 1st started testing where to put that and that's how we discovered that actually it's important that you would put it where you would normally feel your heart beat so it's important to heartbeat if you put it on your knee he doesn't work so there's a few places in the body where does exist here is 1 here is another 1 near your heart is 1 we settle for this because near you're headed actually kind of cells vibrate a bit with your skull and here people found a bit too intense class at a little hard to have a control there so this was the place for us to go to
and then we made that dozens and dozens of rigs and we got hundreds of people through a website to do offer testing and just send it out and see what it is that instead and then I and they use it for a lot of different things we would get feedback like Ireland really well today or I really considered with what I was doing and I'm usually nervous with 1 my bosses around but I was I was able to do it better and I didn't use Facebook as much today and it was really interesting what people would tell us or you help me go to sleep I it held me 1 down
and as I said then we also did that that's already talked about and after they came in and these were independent controlled trials we knew we were in business literally on and of course being of the making persuasion we started making lots of them and there were lots of iterations of the design leading to the product that we now have out and we had that uh I Teixeira contained last summer I which went very well so that was that the next stage of finding out what people want to do with it and is now being manufactured in China and we will be launching it properly in the autumn so this is our journey and this point at this
point and we know has spent a lot of time thinking about the sense of self and technology and where wearables are and where wearable should be going in for now these are are working the rules on the new generation of wearables so what within a should do what they need to earn their place in your body if what you're wearable does can be done with your phone it should not be a wearable it is striking how you've moved it undervalued funny does not have to be a wearable so bubble has to be in your body cause it actually it's on the bottom actuator that affect your body it has to be on your body so there has to be Sears respect about what should be on your body and what shouldn't be it should not be mind your attention if he doesn't need to our attention is very precious and any kind of technology you make had better respect that we should also respect your intention yes because I don't want to overload my attention I do want my technology to simplify my choices but this has to be done wisely and
in a way that of we have agreed to at the right moment in our engagement with technology it should be beautiful it's on me it is it enhances my life it should be beautiful and any should be as natural as possible because what is natural on us is already quite amazing and and using what is natural can be very rich and very um powerful and I do think that a lot of really interesting things are coming up the me in this area I do think that wearables 2 . 0 is on its way and we do see some examples of that around here today and and this is what I would like to share and have your feedback thank you it the I time yes OK you know that was wonderful thank you and you curious did you test out both wrists and did you find that it was helpful to just have 1 risks for that not
matter work symbol of the rest we do I have for some reason we started using
on the left um and stayed on the left by you know the Sun is in these states that we have not actually seen a significant difference between the tourists the and thanks for your
presentation you should shown the picture uh of different moods uh can you hear
depressions with your device know this device is not sensing being
the expectation is that you will feel and then you can use a device to change how you feel and and this is something I mean this raises a very interesting question because we have been asked many times can you sense mood and then do what you need to do because we're about what you do you're not about sensing
and and this is a tricky area because there's some things that you could send about behavior and about and but I some of the reasons behind those rules that we are grappling with is about the sensing and what is it that you would be doing if you were to tell somebody how do you feel for example I I can thing of our wearable that tracks asleep and how you've been behaving recently and based on that it gives you a score for the upcoming day so you the score for today is going to be 70 that's your readiness level today now that clearly will affect how you will be amazed today and so sensing comes with a certain responsibility and when it comes to that responsibilities has to be fall through yeah the and get have yield
tested this so have you tried it with patients with
that chronic pain we've been told several times which should and and we do we are working with
doctors that our setting of a trial for them so we haven't done it yet but they there is quite a few trials like that that are coming out thanks um thank you very much uhm I'm
just a little confused because rather critical to words all kinds of technology and life especially what is on my body and you're saying that we're surrounded by so many things in so many things are influencing us in our daily life then I have a device on my wrists that influences of how I feel in June we be able to control our feelings or be able to
calm ourselves down in a natural way rather than you having another technological device allow is that tells us how to feel ideally yes we should be able to calm ourselves down but most of us find that difficult so I would be even more nervous on stage than without them and there isn't very much I can do about it because of have had a fairly long life before this came along and it's not that it had been tried so there I guess of pushing for technology is that it can it make us achieve certain things in an easier way and is that these way still valid so for example if you were to practice meditation you would be better at controlling how you feel but most of us will try and we find it is quite demanding and will drop date and 1 and and then we will turn to other ways of controlling your mood like a glass of wine or a cup of coffee or whatever it is that we do so technology come actually step in and do things for you that it might be possible in a natural way but too hard for most of us to do and as long as it does it in a way that respects you are a thing I'm happy with that thank you but isn't that like basically the point that technology
makes everything just so much easier I mean In a way we were able to find a
way without a smartphone now we use a smartphone for every single step here and you're saying it's possible to come Dallas meditation but for most people's too hard to do some things too hard to do and I have a technological and other up opportunity to solve this problem I take these achieves the easiest way I and you afraid that people will drop easier on these the challenges and take the easy technological way some
not actually like the knowledge in a like the weight nology makes my life easier i i like picking up new things that make things easier for me out I don't walk everywhere I do use technological devices that movie of me around and and I'm I and I like the new stuff and what we make I don't like something that tells me whether I'm tired to that seems to be crossing a line a but you know the easy can make my life easier in a way that I accept and I'm happy with and I know what's happened and I'm happy thank you very much by on do you think your devices so on ability to for example make people respond so in a more positive where when you for example show them the video that is supposed to create compassionate cities show people a video or animal cruelty do you think your advice could make people benefits like in terms of the reaction some I don't know but I haven't
tried it I haven't shown this to people from you're right that what I was talking about for example what you do with the rubber hand illusion the next experiment that people normally do is look at them by the end of the year empathy toward other people changes of when you're touched in certain ways so 1 interesting experiment exactly along the lines of what you're talking about is a variation of the rubber hand illusion where you're watching somebody in a computer screen and you're caressed in your face the same way as you see them being caressed and after a while you actually start thinking that you look like them i which is an increase a sign of increased empathy so it's true that those mechanisms are all interrelated I have not tested people in in front of a years for pattern and I have a
question regarding possible effects have tested during your mind face in there is
basic to the fact that a lot of why we wanted to be independent testing that was done
at Royal Holloway was for the placebo effect so that was a controlled trial so did test for placebo and it's a fixes were done correctly so we know the effect is not a placebo effect I have and that was super important for us because we were not going to with our lives on a placebo effect of having said that I was he was very important and very strong and when you're designer you want to use it so knowing that the core of it is not a placebo effect then the interactions that we put on that are such that you relate to it in the natural way so for example the coming down you arrested and to get going you'll do this and it will remind you what it is for now this is not exactly placebo but you are integrating you're mental side into what it actually does anyway familiar have the
same question I mean because it's something that have probably whatever nerves on but I'm I'm just gonna extend how
well to say I mean if I get you correctly or what the thing is doing you you choose a B the choose out of like 10 beats how how big is the distinguishing between the beats like mean you're running a B right now right yeah what if you just shows another big like how big statistically all you know does that make a career there are have you so signal that depends on the person so some people are sensitive and some super sensitive to that he goes and others are not so there is 1 thing that
seems to be generic across so when you get a device you use the app to calibrate you're resting heart rate so about everybody finds a resting heart rate or around there the common place to be but essentially the beats of your resting heart rate something in your mind tells you that everything is
OK and is no nothing of bad going on but then for example on the high it's interesting that 120 which is also the disco be seems to be a pretty common but the that people like to get going and bad name in my own not behavior with this I started with fast and strong and over the 2 years I've been using it have found that I can actually get effect the 1 with much subtler I read them so just to finish up because of been doing studies on this our concept of sensation-seeking area that
in additional tremendous contructed yeah nay I'd like to it took me a