With Persuasive Tech, Computers Know Best Can a computer help you quit smoking, watch less TV, or improve your eating habits? Researchers are studying how people interact with their devices — and how "persuasive technologies" might help us stay on track.

With Persuasive Tech, Computers Know Best

With Persuasive Tech, Computers Know Best

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/87984362/87984349" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Can a computer help you quit smoking, watch less TV, or improve your eating habits? Researchers are studying how people interact with their devices — and how "persuasive technologies" might help us stay on track.

Such devices could be as simple as a pillbox that reminds a patient to take medication, or as complicated as the design of computer applications that encourage users to return to a Web site and interact with it.

Guests:

B. J. Fogg, experimental psychologist and director of the Persuasive Technology Lab, Stanford University

Stephen Intille, technology director, House_n Consortium, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology