Valerie Black

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Berkeley, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9691

Approve Date

October 5, 2018

Project Title

Black, Valerie E. U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Can Machines Care? Mental Health Care AI in Tokyo and Silicon Valley,' supervised by Dr. Karen Nakamura

Preliminary abstract: This project investigates artificial intelligence (AI) diagnostic and therapeutic smartphone applications as an emerging form of mental health care. At a time when unmet mental health care needs constitute a growing global concern, proponents of these types of AI technologies assert their potential to dramatically expand access to mental health care–and to significantly decrease care costs by reducing or outright removing the need for human caregivers. Through multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork conducted at mental health technology companies in Tokyo and Silicon Valley, I will observe mental health smartphone app makers and users in order to better understand what it means to be cared for by/provide care through AI, and how AI pushes the question of what care is.