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Designing an AI Health Coach and Studying Its Utility in Promoting Regular Aerobic Exercise

Designing an AI Health Coach and Studying Its Utility in Promoting Regular Aerobic Exercise Our research aims to develop interactive, social agents that can coach people to learn new tasks, skills, and habits. In this article, we focus on coaching sedentary, overweight individuals (i.e., “trainees”) to exercise regularly. We employ adaptive goal setting in which the intelligent health coach generates, tracks, and revises personalized exercise goals for a trainee. The goals become incrementally more difficult as the trainee progresses through the training program. Our approach is model-based—the coach maintains a parameterized model of the trainee’s aerobic capability that drives its expectation of the trainee’s performance. The model is continually revised based on trainee-coach interactions. The coach is embodied in a smartphone application, NutriWalking, which serves as a medium for coach-trainee interaction. We adopt a task-centric evaluation approach for studying the utility of the proposed algorithm in promoting regular aerobic exercise. We show that our approach can adapt the trainee program not only to several trainees with different capabilities but also to how a trainee’s capability improves as they begin to exercise more. Experts rate the goals selected by the coach better than other plausible goals, demonstrating that our approach is consistent with clinical recommendations. Further, in a 6-week observational study with sedentary participants, we show that the proposed approach helps increase exercise volume performed each week. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS) Association for Computing Machinery

Designing an AI Health Coach and Studying Its Utility in Promoting Regular Aerobic Exercise

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 ACM
ISSN
2160-6455
eISSN
2160-6463
DOI
10.1145/3366501
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Our research aims to develop interactive, social agents that can coach people to learn new tasks, skills, and habits. In this article, we focus on coaching sedentary, overweight individuals (i.e., “trainees”) to exercise regularly. We employ adaptive goal setting in which the intelligent health coach generates, tracks, and revises personalized exercise goals for a trainee. The goals become incrementally more difficult as the trainee progresses through the training program. Our approach is model-based—the coach maintains a parameterized model of the trainee’s aerobic capability that drives its expectation of the trainee’s performance. The model is continually revised based on trainee-coach interactions. The coach is embodied in a smartphone application, NutriWalking, which serves as a medium for coach-trainee interaction. We adopt a task-centric evaluation approach for studying the utility of the proposed algorithm in promoting regular aerobic exercise. We show that our approach can adapt the trainee program not only to several trainees with different capabilities but also to how a trainee’s capability improves as they begin to exercise more. Experts rate the goals selected by the coach better than other plausible goals, demonstrating that our approach is consistent with clinical recommendations. Further, in a 6-week observational study with sedentary participants, we show that the proposed approach helps increase exercise volume performed each week.

Journal

ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS)Association for Computing Machinery

Published: May 30, 2020

Keywords: AI and society

References