Dewey Hall, Rochester, NY

Title: Passive Sensing Frameworks for the Future of Information Work

Abstract: We live in a time when our conception of a thriving worker is in flux. These changing definitions are especially affecting information workers, who are increasingly unsatisfied with the care they get at work. Organizations are failing to identify these trends and promote positive behaviors. We need applications that provide precise and actionable insight to help information workers strive for better wellbeing. I believe that sensing day-level behaviors in a passive (automatic, unobtrusive, and continuous) way can offer unique insights into worker success. My research investigates approaches to leverage everyday digital technologies as sensors that enable algorithmic insights for information worker behaviors.

In this talk, I will show how passive sensing can reveal personal and social behaviors linked to better performance and mental wellbeing. I will also demonstrate the methodological and societal challenges in predictive applications for work wellbeing with passive sensing. Finally, I will describe my vision to design passive sensing applications as tools to empower information workers towards holistic success.

Bio: Vedant Das Swain is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, advised by Munmun De Choudhury and Gregory Abowd. His research contributes to the future of work and behavioral wellbeing in general. He identifies, develops, and critiques opportunities to leverage ubiquitous technologies for algorithmic inference of performance and mental wellbeing. He consistently works with organizational psychologists to inform his investigations and also collaborates with Microsoft Research to develop better tools for worker wellbeing. His research has been published at top-tier computing venues like CHI, CSCW, UbiComp/IMWUT, ACII, and IEEE CogMI. His paper at CHI 2022 won a Best Paper Honorable Mention award. He is the winner of the Gaetano Borriello Outstanding Student Award at UbiComp 2022 and the GVU Foley Scholar Award 2022. His research has been supported by IARPA, NSF, CDC, ORNL, and Semiconductor Research Corporation.

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