Saeed Abdullah's research while affiliated with Pennsylvania State University and other places

Publications (51)

Preprint
Full-text available
Active listening is a well-known skill applied in human communication to build intimacy and elicit self-disclosure to support a wide variety of cooperative tasks. When applied to conversational UIs, active listening from machines can also elicit greater self-disclosure by signaling to the users that they are being heard, which can have positive out...
Preprint
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In this paper, we present novel research methods for collecting and analyzing personal financial data alongside mental health factors, illustrated through a N=1 case study using data from one individual with bipolar disorder. While we have not found statistically significant trends nor our findings are generalizable beyond this case, our approach p...
Article
Background: Substance use and use disorders in the United States have had significant and devastating impacts on individuals and communities. This escalating substance use crisis calls for urgent and innovative solutions to effectively detect and provide interventions for individuals in times of need. Recent mobile health (mHealth)-based approache...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Substance use and use disorders in the US have had significant and devastating impacts on individuals and communities, and the escalating substance use crisis calls for urgent and innovative solutions to effectively detect and provide interventions for individuals in times of need. Recent mHealth-based approaches offer promising new oppo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to large-scale lifestyle changes and increased social isolation and stress on a societal level. This has had a unique impact on US "essential workers'' (EWs) -- who continue working outside their homes to provide critical services, such as hospital and infrastructure employees. We examine the use of Twitter by EWs as a...
Article
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Voice assistants (VAs) have proliferated in the last 10 years. They are now used to support a wide range of tasks and activities across different domains. Effective evaluation of VA usability is critical for sustained user adoption and acceptance. Current approaches for assessing VA usability largely make use of traditional technology-agnostic meas...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive assistants use vocal interfaces and artificial intelligence to assist humans with complex tasks. While much research has focused on the application of these devices, a few studies have addressed how these devices affect the way humans work. To fill this gap, this research studied the effects of a cognitive assistant on mental workload, fr...
Article
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How do deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) individuals use smart assistants (SAs)? Does the prominent use of voice interfaces in most SAs pose unique challenges for DHH users? In this work, we aim to answer these questions by conducting 4 in-depth interviews, as well as collecting survey data from 73 DHH individuals. Our findings show that individuals,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bipolar disorder (BD) can negatively impact the lives of individuals. Symptoms of BD can manifest not only in their offline behaviors, but online as well. Being able to identify manic and depressive mood episodes early on can lead to more effective interventions. In this work, we focus on understanding the feasibility and acceptance of an early war...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Light expressions can communicate and convey information in an unobtrusive manner. Smart-speakers employ light behaviors to indicate a wide range of device states as well as notifying users. However, no prior work has looked into the efficacy of these light behaviors in smart-speakers. That is, can users distinguish and understand information state...
Conference Paper
Conversational agents (CAs) with voice interfaces are becoming ubiquitous and are routinely used by a wide range of individuals. Users with vision and mobility issues can leverage the voice interfaces of CAs to complete tasks with increasing complexity. However, CAs with voice interfaces pose unique challenges for those with different accessibility...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Smart-speakers such as Amazon Alexa are becoming increasingly popular among the general population. These devices support a wide range of user-initiated tasks. However, their current interaction capabilities are limited to quick turn-takings and short dialogues, which leads to limited user engagement. In this project, we aim to enhance the user eng...
Conference Paper
Mental health issues affect a significant portion of the world's population and can result in debilitating and life-threatening outcomes. To address this increasingly pressing healthcare challenge, there is a need to research novel approaches for early detection and prevention. Toward this, ubiquitous systems can play a central role in revealing an...
Conference Paper
Mental health issues affect a significant portion of the world's population and can result in debilitating and life-threatening outcomes. To address this increasingly pressing healthcare challenge, there is a need to research novel approaches for early detection and prevention. Toward this, ubiquitous systems can play a central role in revealing an...
Conference Paper
Alertness is a crucial component of our cognitive performance. Reduced alertness can negatively impact memory consolidation, productivity and safety. As a result, there has been an increasing focus on continuous assessment of alertness. The existing methods usually require users to wear sensors, fill out questionnaires, or perform response time tes...
Article
Full-text available
Collection of salivary cortisol has been widely used as a method of investigating an array of health parameters. Monitoring of cortisol levels can help us to understand stress levels and the body’s response to stressors. Traditional methods of measuring cortisol in saliva, however, require costly equipment, trained personnel, and transportation of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Conversational agents (CAs) like Amazon Alexa can potentially enable a new way to deliver therapy to patients with serious mental illnesses. Specifically, they can be used to provide support for real-time family therapy and interventions in a scalable way. However, this requires significant changes in traditional therapeutic content since interacti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social media platforms can be used to provide effective support for users with mental health issues. Self-disclosure about mental health on these platforms can lead to social support and community building. However, there are also inherent risks of stigmatization and misuse of platform features for maladaptive purposes, such as to promote eating di...
Article
Mental health is an urgent global issue. Around 450 million people suffer from serious mental illnesses worldwide, which results in devastating personal outcomes and huge societal burden. Effective symptom monitoring and personalized interventions can significantly improve mental health care across different populations. However, traditional clinic...
Conference Paper
Mental health issues affect a significant portion of the world's population and can result in debilitating and life-threatening outcomes. To address this increasingly pressing healthcare challenge, there is a need to research novel approaches for early detection and prevention. In particular, ubiquitous systems can play a central role in revealing...
Chapter
Human physiology and behavior are deeply rooted in the daily 24 h temporal structure. Our biological processes vary significantly, predictably, and idiosyncratically throughout the day in accordance with these circadian rhythms, which in turn influence our physical and mental performance. Prolonged disruption of biological rhythms has serious conse...
Article
Full-text available
The authors present an approach for designing self-monitoring technology called "semi-automated tracking," which combines both manual and automated data collection methods. Through this approach, they aim to lower the capture burdens, collect data that is typically hard to track automatically, and promote awareness to help people achieve their self...
Conference Paper
Early detection of mental health changes in individuals with serious mental illness is critical for effective intervention. CrossCheck is the first step towards the passive monitoring of mental health indicators in patients with schizophrenia and paves the way towards relapse prediction and early intervention. In this paper, we present initial resu...
Conference Paper
Throughout the day, our alertness levels change and our cognitive performance fluctuates. The creation of technology that can adapt to such variations requires reliable measurement with ecological validity. Our study is the first to collect alertness data in the wild using the clinically validated Psychomotor Vigilance Test. With 20 participants ov...
Conference Paper
A significant fraction of college students suffer from serious mental health issues including depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thought. The prevalence and severity of these issues among college students also appear to increase over time. However, most of these issues often remain undiagnosed, and as a result, untreated. One of the main r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our body clock causes considerable variations in our behavioral, mental, and physical processes, including alertness, throughout the day. While much research has studied technology usage patterns, the potential impact of underlying biological processes on these patterns is under-explored. Using data from 20 participants over 40 days, this paper pre...
Article
Dynamic psychological processes are most often assessed using self-report instruments. This places a constraint on how often and for how long data can be collected due to the burden placed on human participants. Smartphones are ubiquitous and highly personal devices, equipped with sensors that offer an opportunity to measure and understand psycholo...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of automatically assessing the Social Rhythm Metric (SRM), a clinically-validated marker of stability and rhythmicity for individuals with bipolar disorder (BD), using passively-sensed data from smartphones. Methods: Seven patients with BD used smartphones for 4 weeks passively collecting sensor data includ...
Article
Objective: This study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and utility of behavioral sensing among individuals with schizophrenia. Methods: Nine outpatients and 11 inpatients carried smartphones for two- or one-week periods, respectively. Device-embedded sensors (accelerometers, microphone, global positioning system, WiFi, and Bluetooth) col...
Conference Paper
Human physiology and behavior are deeply rooted in the daily 24 hour temporal structure. Our biological processes vary significantly and idiosyncratically throughout the day. Continued disruption of biological rhythms often has serious consequences for physical and mental well-being, causing cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and mental healt...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
By nature, we are circadian creatures whose bodies' biological clocks drive numerous physiological, mental, and behavioral rhythms. Simultaneously, we are social beings. Accordingly, our internal circadian timings experience interference from externally determined factors such as work schedules and social engagements, and digital connectivity impor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we argue that atypical cognitive, perceptual and behavioral characteristics associated with serious mental illnesses should be taken into consideration when designing health technologies. While applications have been developed to assist in the treatment of these illnesses, the specific psychological characteristics of these disorders...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
MoodLight is an interactive ambient lighting system that responds to biosensor input related to an individual's current level of arousal. Changes in levels of arousal correspond to fluctuations in the color of light provided by the system, altering the immediate environment in ways intimately related to the user's private internal state. We use thi...
Conference Paper
The increasing adoption of social media provides unprecedented opportunities to gain insight into human nature at vastly broader scales. Regarding the study of population-wide sentiment, prior research commonly focuses on text-based analyses and ignores a treasure trove of sentiment-laden content: images. In this paper, we make methodological and c...
Article
We often think of ourselves as individuals with steady capabilities. However, converging strands of research indicate that this is not the case. Our biochemistry varies significantly over the course of a 24 hour period. Consequently our levels of alertness, productivity, physical activity, and even sensitivity to pain fluctuate throughout the day....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Biological rhythms enable living organisms to adapt and live with periodical environmental changes, such as variation in the relative position of the earth and the sun. Internal rhythms, like body temperature and sleep-wake cycle, are driven by numerous biological processes and can be maintained even in the absence of external environmental cues. T...
Article
Serious mental illnesses are among the most pressing public healthcare concerns. Continuous and unobtrusive sensing of social and physical functioning has tremendous potential to support lifelong health management by acting as an early warning system to detect changes in mental well-being, delivering context-aware micro-interventions to patients wh...
Article
The rising popularity of the sensor-equipped smartphone is changing the possible scale and scope of human activity infer-ence. The diversity in user population seen in large user bases can overwhelm conventional one-size-fits-all classication ap-proaches. Although personalized models are better able to handle population diversity, they often requir...

Citations

... A system focusing on therapeutic support must address ethical and user safety concerns as well [26]. For instance, users may feel deceived after finding out the limitations of smart speaker capabilities to provide support. ...
... In addition, changes in tone and other non-content qualities of user interaction with the smart speaker could be explored as potential triggers for introducing backchanneling cues into the conversation. Furthermore, design efforts can be geared toward conveying backchanneling via non-auditory means (e.g., using light behaviors [43,44]) which can be not only be more subtle and less intrusive, but also more accessible, especially for hearing-impaired users [8,9]. ...
... As evidence of this, we can cite the study conducted by Qiu et al. (2021), according to which half of the people involved to test a tablet-based application called Nurse AMIE refused because they were overwhelmed by technology, a motivation that prompted researchers to create a version of the same application which can be executed by smart speakers. ...
... A growing body of literature [13,22,23] investigates different variations of OSWB indices calculated based on textual content from social media sites. For example, changes in the level of happiness and mood based on tweets were explored for the United States of America [24,25], the United Kingdom [26][27][28], China [29], Italy [30], the UAE [31], and Brazil [32]. However, one of the main challenges with existing studies is the lack of representative data-in terms of the data source, general population of internet users, or general population of the analyzed country. ...
... Zhang et al. [25] reported that AI assistance hindered high-performing teams' success. Different authors have studied the impacts of AI assistance in other aspects of engineering design, including decision-making, optimization, and computational tasks [26,27], and its effects on mental workload, frustration, and effort [28,29]. While previous works cover the use of AI as assistive tools, there exists a lack of focus in the literature on the use of AI in a managerial role for the direction and guidance of team process. ...
... Several studies have explored how diverse populations such as older adults [26], people with visual and physical disabilities [27][28][29][30], and people with speech impairments [31][32][33] use and interact with VAT. One study exploring the experiences of older adults' use of Alexa reported positive first interactions when using the device, owing to the simplicity of speech-based communication, but highlighted the need for better device training and the privacy, security, and financial concerns raised by the participants [26]. ...
... A validation study was completed on the effectiveness of using the Apple Watch to collect passive sensor data with "ecological momentary assessments" from a watch-based questionnaire app recording patient feedback to assess and monitor substance abuse in young adults [89]. The response from participants on the perceived burden of engaging with the app was low; however, it was noted that the relative ease of completing the surveys was easier on an iPhone than on the Apple Watch. ...
... This group of workshop organizers refect expertise in the intersection of working with marginalized people in multiple geographical contexts and AI/ML and data driven technologies. Additionally, the organizers have experience running successful workshops at CHI and other ACM and afliated venues [2,5,14,30,34,[37][38][39]. Franziska Tachtler is a PhD student and research associate at HCI Group, TU Wien. ...
... This idea is well summarized by P11, who said, "I don't know why it [Alexa] would mimic a human conversation...because it is not believable." Furthermore, even with users who do initially think of VUIs as human, self-reported scores of anthropomorphism and intelligence decrease over time [34]. This closely resembles the "ELIZA effect" [17]. ...
... According to MAIN, the presence of customization options (e.g., increasing privacy, restricting data sharing), offered by a networked technology is likely to increase credibility perceptions of the content that it produces (e.g., news, advertising). Empirically, research might test this proposition by manipulating the degree of customization offered by a networked device (e.g., a smart speaker) and assessing how this influences trust in the information produced by the device (see Cho et al., 2020). This type of research would provide a deeper understanding of how the specific affordances of networked devices influence user perceptions of information transmitted by these devices and how this might influence behavioural outcomes. ...