Significance

What will happen if we lose our rhythm of life because of the negative beliefs? Anxiety and stress can appear as irritability, headaches, backaches, eye strain, neck pain, stiff shoulder, joint pains, mental fatigue, depression, nightmares, panic, resistance, and a feeling of helplessness. Those disorders are ruining our life and mind, even kill us. 

Anxiety Disorders and Symptoms

No matter what kind of ways we deal with our anxiety and negative feelings. That is a trip about a person having conversations with himself or herself. It is a way how we try to save ourselves being suffering from those dark times. Our anxiety and worry are like ghosts. We feel like they are omnipresent because they are actually a part of our mind and imagination. Sometimes, it is just hard to deal with those weak moments. And, we just need to talk to someone who will support us. However, to reveal ourselves to others is not easy. What if technology can help us to embrace our inner–self. Lone Comfort is the experiment I do to explore the possibility to help myself to modify and cope with irrational beliefs and find my balance of mind.

Lone Comfort is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy experiment. To help myself modify and cope with irrational beliefs, IBM Watson APIs are used to identify my automatic negative thoughts and feelings during conversations with the Watson chatbot. By creating a Cognitive AI helmet as a digital comfort zone and symbol of isolation, and by wearing it in public, I want to document the comparison of relationships between a mobile device, human, and myself.

The experiment is a self–revealing process for myself who has anxiety problems and usually suffers from anger, depression, and isolation. It is a trip to have conversations with my inner–self. Training the AI’s cognitive ability to recognize the factors which influence my emotions and behaviors, I also have a chance to dispute and replace my irrational beliefs and find my balance of mind. ​

Designer: Chieh-Ping Chen

 

Video:

Chieh-Ping Chen / Kuo-Jui Hung /

Meng-Chuan Lee

 

Music:

Cornelius – If You're Here

Featured in:

– Spectrum  MFADT Thesis Show 2017

– NYC Media Lab'17 Summit

– May The Chatbot Be With You

   NYC Media Lab'17 Workshop

– World Maker Faire 2017

 

Full Essay

Domain Diagram

Cognition vs. Emotions 

When we have to make decisions, we always have mental compromises between our judgments and our emotions unconsciously. This compromise has been proved numerous times by cognitive neuroscientist Drew Westen. In the brain, the machinery of cognition and the machinery of emotions are always interconnected. When sentiments are strong, our cognitive will be deeply affected. As a result, a lot of problems we are suffering are not just in our machinery of cognition.” If we have irrational briefs, it will affect us to explain things in a wrong and illogical way to influence our feelings. That is Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the core model in contemporary psychology to treat mental illness (Anxiety, Depression, and Bipolar disorder, etc.) triggered by ANTs. 

How AI Works with CBT–ABC Model

What does CBT–ABC Model do for us?

– Deal with negative thoughts when we troubled about something. 

– Figure out what is really bothering us. 

– Make positive changes to modify irrational beliefs. 

– Keep us sustained at healthy emotion status.

Sketches and Look & Feel Prototypes 

My look and feel inspiration is from a Japanese Novel called “The Box Man” written by Kobo Abe. I want to create the feeling to address the ideas about self–confort zone, isolation, disconnection, and the space of perspective. 

Look & Feel Design Sketches

Experience Prototypes–Dynamic Question Solitaire Survey 

The purpose of this Dynamic Question Solitaire (DQS) survey is to collect questions as much as possible. All the questions will inform to few dynamic scenarios. The reason for doing this dynamic study is to create the unexpecting dialog for people and push me out of my comfort zone. Those questions may engage with something I don’t know which could address the roots of my anxiety. ‘People:– was there ever a time when you wanted to run away? Did you feel you were a coward for feeling this?’ People will be asked to use the video and the latest question they see as the materials and clues to generate a new question they want to ask me. 

Ideas of Self–revealing and Talking Therapy 

Collecting all the responses from the DQS survey, I made a question cards kit to demonstrate the process of CBT; testers will pick up the question card randomly. The user test aims to provide the feeling if those questions can address their emotional problems, and map a conversation model for use on Watson conversation API’s back–end later.

Dynamic Question Cards Kit

Conversation Mapping Prototype

IBM Watson Cognitive Computing

Cognitive Computing (CC) is the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model. CC involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works. In general, CC has been used to refer to new type Artificial Intelligence (AI) of hardware and software that simulates the functioning of the human brain and helps to improve human decision–making. The applications link to data analysis and adaptive page displays are customizable for a particular type of audience. It strives to create automated Information Technology (IT) systems that are capable of solving problems without requiring human assistance.

Technology Use Flow of Lone Comfort

Technology Prototypes

The technology inspiration is from the precedent “Eliza” by Joseph Weizenbaum. The hardware reference follows the tutorial “Build a Chatbot That Cares” by Josh Zheng.
It aims to create the conversational experience that allowed the AI to understand my emotions, and give appropriate responses to support, comfort and cope with my unhealthy negative feelings. 

Structure and Parts Diagram of Lone Comfort (a)

Structure and Parts Diagram of Lone Comfort (b)

Wearing and Internet Connectivity Tests

Documentation and Filming Process Photos

Project Video

© 2011–2019 by Chieh-Ping Chen