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How to Make Behavioral Sensing Work for Workers? Dissecting the Practicality of Passive Sensing Enabled Digital Phenotyping of Worker Wellbeing

FEBRUARY 16, 2024

Vedant Das Swain, PhD
Distinguished Research Fellow

About the Presentation: Work occupies a significant portion of the day and it is becoming increasingly important to provide precise and actionable insights to maintain worker satisfaction and help them manage stress . Sensing day-level behaviors in a passive (automatic, unobtrusive, and continuous) way can offer a unique perspective into worker’s mental wellbeing. My research investigates approaches to leverage everyday digital technologies as sensors that enable algorithmic insight to support healthier work experiences. Although this technology has promise, deploying such tools in real scenarios faces many challenges. In this talk, I will discuss findings from 3 studies to demonstrate the societal expectations of such technology, the factors informing its adoption, and finally the methodological gaps in rendering meaningful insights on worker wellbeing. Workers are concerned they will end up working for behavioral health tools, my talk hopes to discuss how we might make them work for workers.

About the Presenter: Vedant Das Swain is a Distinguished Research Fellow at Khoury College of Computer Science at Northeastern University. His research contributes to the future of work and behavioral wellbeing in general. Dr. Das Swain identifies, develops, and critiques opportunities to leverage ubiquitous technologies for algorithmic inference of performance and mental wellbeing. He collaborates with organizational psychologists and workplace technology companies to develop better tools for worker wellbeing. His research has been published at top-tier computing venues, including CHI, CSCW, UbiComp/IMWUT, ACII, and IEEE CogMI. His paper at CHI 2022 received a Best Paper Honorable Mention award. He is the winner of the Gaetano Borriello Outstanding Student Award at UbiComp 2022 and the GVU Foley Scholar Award 2022. He received his Ph.D. from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2023. His research has been supported by IARPA, NSF, CDC, ORNL, Cisco, Microsoft, and Semiconductor Research Corporation.