Cognitive-Sensitive Software

w/ Stephen Heisig, IBM Research

Most software is not sensitive to your mental state and can harm your productivity. Our agent uses cheap off the shelf EEG detection hardware to characterize your mental state. It can detect optimal states (traits) and take actions to maintain them. It can detect undesired states (traits) and suggest actions to improve them. It can detect and correlate macro and micro environmental conditions that affect productive, relaxed states (traits).

In this example we show how an existing piece of software (Google TALK, XMPP) can be made sensitive to the user's state and prevent interruptions during flow states. Our agent identifies 4 mental states:

  • headless chicken - an all too common unfocused, unrelaxed condition
  • straining - focused but not relaxed
  • spaced - relaxed and unfocused
  • flow - relaxed and focused



© Charles Fracchia