Engaging the workplace with challenges


Mental wellbeing is intimately tied to both social support and physical activity. The Challenge is a tool aimed at promoting social connections and decreasing sedentary activity in a workplace environment. Our system asks participants to sign up for short physical challenges and pairs them with a partner to perform the activity. Social obligation and social consensus are leveraged to promote participation. Two experiments were conducted in which participants' overall activity levels were monitored with a fitness tracker. In the first study, we show that the system can improve users' physical activity, decrease sedentary time, and promote social connection. As part of the second study, we provide a detailed social network analysis of the participants, demonstrating that users' physical activity and participation depends strongly on their social community.

In International Conference on Persuasive Technologies
Natasha Jaques
Natasha Jaques

My research is focused on Social Reinforcement Learning–developing algorithms that use insights from social learning to improve AI agents' learning, generalization, coordination, and human-AI interaction.