AI tool from VTT to measure work-related stress

  • VTT has developed an AI-based tool with Finnish Institute of Occupational Health that can identify when knowledge workers are under stress.
  • VTT is also working with cybersecurity firm Nixu to examine the system’s operational framework, protect privacy, and implement principles such as MyData around sovereign ownership of data.
  • VTT is expanding its testing to a variety of work environments, including factory Settings, with the aim of providing employers and workers with tools to monitor and manage stress across a wide range of industries.

OUR TAKE
VTT is developing an artificial intelligence tool to measure work stress. Work-related stress and its after-effects have become a major problem worldwide. Not only workers, but employers are actively looking for ways to solve this problem, but even stress detection poses challenges because few tools can do it reliably. The rising rate of absenteeism associated with stress-related illnesses is worrying. While technology is often blamed for the busy atmosphere of the modern workplace, it can sometimes be used to help. VVT’s AI technology seems to suggest new ways to help alleviate such problems.

— Tuna Tu, BTW Reporter

Breakthrough AI tool

VTT, one of Europe’s leading research institutes, has developed an AI-based tool that can identify when knowledge workers are under stress. The tool can be used by organisations to understand stress levels, identify root causes, and take early action, which can help reduce or avoid stress-related sick leave. In collaboration with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the tool devoloped by VVT can distinguish between stressful and non-stressful situations for knowledge workers by analysing behavioral data in computer use and converting this data into easy-to-understand indicators. The tool’s AI-based algorithms can assess an individual’s mouse movements and detect behavioral changes, as abnormal behavior can indicate stress.

Also read: GitHub’s latest AI tool can automatically fix code vulnerabilities

Importance of privacy

To visualise the findings, VTT developed the concept of an organisational barometer that shows at a glance the state of stress over a period of time. The barometer is designed to provide organisations with a tool to see how stressed their employees are while protecting personal privacy. It is essential to prevent data misuse and ensure full transparency in data processing. One of the key premises is that if an individual’s behaviour is to be measured, that individual must own the data and the results, and employees should have the choice whether to share their results. In addition, all data collected must be thoroughly anonymised. This means that not only is it impossible to identify individuals from shared data, but it is also impossible to know who is sharing or not sharing their results. VTT is also working with cybersecurity firm Nixu to examine the system’s operational framework, protect privacy, and implement principles such as MyData around sovereign ownership of data.

Also read: DoorDash introduces new AI tool to tackle in-app verbal abuse

Hope on the horizon

How to relieve the tension caused by stress in the modern workplace is still a problem that needs to be solved. “By leveraging AI-based solutions, VTT demonstrates a more promising approach,” Kinnula said. “The results are promising, and while the technology is still in the early stages of development, we can see it reaching maturity within 3-5 years.” We are currently looking for partners to further develop the technology.” Research to date has focused on knowledge workers. Nevertheless, VTT is expanding its testing to a variety of work environments, including factory Settings, with the aim of providing employers and workers with tools to monitor and manage stress across a wide range of industries.

Tuna-Tu

Tuna Tu

Tuna Tu, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in artificial intelligence and media. She graduated from The Communication University of Zhejiang and now works in Hangzhou. Send tips to t.tu@btw.media.

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