Auto-Intimacy: Algorithmic Therapies and Care of the Self

30 Sep 2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Hannah Zeavin
Lecturer in History and English at UC Berkeley

Please join on Zoom.

“Auto-Intimacy: Algorithmic Therapies and Care of the Self” engages with therapeutic and psychiatric treatment by algorithmic automated therapies. Zeavin interrogates what therapy becomes when the traditional therapist is replaced by a computational actor. “Auto-Intimacy” opens with an overview of very early attempts to write a responsive algorithm which modeled a therapeutic relationship and addresses changes in automated therapy over the past fifty years. At the earliest moment of experimentation with automated therapies, two strains of work emerged: the simulation and detection of a disordered mind in the hopes of automating intake, diagnosis, and psychological education, and the simulation of a therapist toward the dream of automating therapeutic treatment. Zeavin will then move to a brief discussion of the politics and “gamification” of contemporary psychological applications such as “Ellie” and “Joyable” and “iHelp,” which attempt to assist persons with a wide range of mental health disorders in managing their behavior and moods. These applications, which are frequently offered by employers to employees, collapse the categories of wellness, stress, labor management, and mental health care.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  CSTMS

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