Simon D’Alfonso, Phd
Dr. Simon D’Alfonso, BASc Hons, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Health in the School of Computing and Information Systems at The University of Melbourne. Within this role, he leads the School’s Digital Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Mental Health research program. With a background in computer science and artificial intelligence, he obtained his PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2013 and has been working in the field of digital mental health since that time.
Dr. D’Alfonso’s work focuses on the application of digital technology, ubiquitous computing, and artificial intelligence to mental health and psychology more generally. He is also interested in exploring the philosophical and ethical dimensions of AI and digital (mental health) technologies. Several projects connected to his research work include:
- The AWARE-Light smartphone sensing app, which can be used in behavioural studies to administer scheduled questionnaires on smartphones and collect rich smartphone sensor data.
- The SenPsi project, which is researching and developing a web platform that collects and displays client digital footprint information that mental health clinicians can use to inform their practice.
- Conducting digital phenotyping studies such as the StudentSense study, which is collecting smartphone sensing data and exploring associations between the mental health and wellbeing of university students, their semester activities, and their smartphone/Internet usage data.
- Natural language processing and conversational technologies for clinical practice. The former involves analysing therapy transcripts to generate insights into the language and dialogue characteristics that are associated with better psychotherapy outcomes, which could in turn could lead to tools that guide clinicians in their psychotherapy practice, including systems that provide real-time feedback during a therapy session. The latter involves research and development of Client101, a conversational platform that can be used by mental health practitioners, particularly trainee clinicians, to engage in simulated therapy interactions and practice therapy techniques.
Financial Disclosures: Simon D’Alfonso is an employee of The University of Melbourne. He receives a speaking honorarium from Leading Edge Seminars Inc.