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Detecting Boredom from Mobile Phone Usage

Our research on When Attention is not Scarce – Detecting Boredom from Mobile Phone Usage, which received best-paper award of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015), has recently created a huge press echo.

When Attention is not Scarce – Detecting Boredom from Mobile Phone Usage from Martin Pielot

The first article appeared on MIT Technology Review: Your Smartphone Can Tell If You’re Bored by Rachel Metz. Soon, our work was picked up my many high profile outlets, such as NBC News - Next Thing Your Phone May Detect: Boredom, Fortune - Your phone can tell when you're bored, Engadget - Your phone knows if you're bored by how much you use it, or the US National Public Radio - Researchers Build Smartphone Algorithm That Senses Boredom.

NiemanLab emphasized the work’s potential value for publishes, saying that soon, publishers will be able to determine when smartphone users are bored and push content at them. The Daily Mirror expressed concerns that by doing so, this approach might make you feel angry instead. The original MIT Technology Review article also highlights the potentials boredom detection in the context of mental health: “We know boredom leads to depression, so if you can infer the person is bored, you can do something about it” though the article correltly questions whether our algorithm detects “true boredom”.