Simone Balloccu

University of Aberdeen

Simone Balloccu is a PhD candidate in Computer Science and AI at University of Aberdeen (UK).
His main research interests cover the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applied to natural language and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).
At the moment, he is a Marie-Curie ESR within Horizon 2020 PhilHumans project, working on Natural Language Generation (NLG) for persuasive communication and behaviour change in nutrition and mental health.

Between language and behaviour: the potential of text generation in diet-coaching

Nowadays, under/overeating has become major health issues with profound consequences in society. Worldwide, bad diets lead to increased risk of diseases and put a significant burden on healthcare systems with devastating economical impact. Taken together, these problems shed light on the urgent need for innovative technologies to help people with healthy eating.Research in nutrition tells us that communication is vital in behaviour change tasks. So why is it that current tools overlook it? In this talk we’ll explore the task of text generation in diet-coaching, trying to answer the following and more questions: – What is the role of language in behaviour change? – How do current diet-coaching tools approach communication? – Does text tailoring matter? – What is the role of new E2E technologies in this regard?We will discuss this from a combined researcher and stakeholder viewpoint, trying to shed some light on the real-world usage of text generation in nutrition.