Upper Sugar

Day 1

Tuesday June 20, 2017
14:30 – 17:00

Impact of AI on Mental Health

Mental Health and AI’s Impact on Wellbeing and Happiness

Mental health conditions, across the spectrum, now affect more people living in the UK than ever before. Depression impacts 12.6% of people. Anxiety is said to affect 9.7%, and 2% of us live with a phobia of some kind. OCD and panic disorders are a condition that 1% of us have to deal with, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to recent reports the annual economic cost of mental illness to the UK is between £70bn and £100bn, arising from sickness absence, benefit provision, and loss of productivity, with the cost of care borne by partners and relatives proving harder to quantify. As a society, the more we immerse ourselves in technology, the bigger the issue seems to be getting… so is AI the answer or another risk factor? Investing in the tools to tackle this problem can be complex and difficult to quantify, but is personal data and the means to process it now the best way to address the silent killer?

Discussion Points

  • How much has technology contributed to the rising issue of mental health, or has it merely helped to highlight an issue that was there, but hidden?
  • How is AI already being applied to treat and learn more about the various issues of mental health, depression, anxiety and wellbeing?
  • Because of the inherent risks involved, can we ethically rely on a machine to help address something so deeply emotional?
  • What role does an individual’s data play in the successful treatment and support of mental health?
  • What about the ethics surrounding use of data to successfully learn more, analyse and treat mental health conditions?



  • 14:30 – 15:00 Keynote
  • 15:00 – 16:00 Panel
  • 16:00 – 17:00 Breakout Session



  • Keynote: Winners of the Acorn Aspirations under 18s Hackathon – AI solutions for mental health challenges
  • Panel Chair: Pete Trainor (Founder & Director of Human Focused Digital at Nexus CX Ltd)
  • Panelist: Rod Banner (Founder of JoyTech)
  • Panelist: Andrew Tarver (Founder of Jigsaw) 
  • Panelist: Dr. Nick Taylor (Chief Executive Officer & Clinical Psychologist at Unmind) –
  • Panelist: Silja Litvin (Psychologist, Chief Executive Officer & Founder of PsycApps Digital Mental Health)
  • Panelist: Dr. Maria Liakata (Associate Professor at University of Warwick, Alan Turing Institute Faculty Fellow)
  • Panelist: Chanuki Seresinhe (Doctoral Researcher at the Data Science Lab at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, The Turing Institute)