Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

AI Seminar | Natural Language Processing Seminar

Empathy in peer-to-peer mental health support

Tim Althoff Assistant Professor Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington
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Access to mental health care is a global problem for hundreds of millions of people. Online mental health support may be able to help mitigate this global challenge. However, while mental health platforms attract millions of people, we lack a comprehensive understanding of how conversations on these platforms could be most effective in supporting those in need. Specifically, I will describe how we can measure empathy in mental health peer support and how we can give feedback in order to empower peer supporters to increase expressed levels of empathy, using large-scale neural transformer architectures and reinforcement learning approaches. I will also share learnings from applying these methods to a large corpus of support conversations.

Bio

Tim Althoff is an assistant professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. His research advances computational methods to improve human well-being, combining techniques from Data Mining, Social Network Analysis, and Natural Language Processing.

Organizer

AI Lab

Faculty Host

Prof. Rada Mihalcea