Analysing our attitudes and behaviour in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

AI innovators Scaled Insights are proof that collaboration between entrepreneurs and academics is beneficial. The company are collaborating widely across the University, and are reaping the rewards of the network of valuable connections available through Nexus.

Their most recent project, working with human behaviour specialists from the University, is conducting an in-depth analysis of our attitudes and behaviour in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research is being led by Dr Stuart Flint, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University and Scaled Insights Company President. Using natural language processing and machine learning to identify linguistic patterns and better understand how personality can influence our attitudes and behaviours, the survey aims to provide vital insights for policy makers and government.

Scaled Insights capitalised on the outstanding talent pool at the University with the appointment of Dr Flint. His expertise on attitude and behaviour change relating to obesity, smoking cessation and physical activity, is providing invaluable support to the team as they develop AI models as a tool to detect and predict known health behaviours and outcomes.

Collaboration is also fundamental to Scaled Insights’ work with the University’s School of Computing and School of Medicine on a learning and development project for Health Education England, which aims to better support and motivate NHS staff when using e-learning resources.

The project tests the perceived persuasiveness of different choice techniques and relates them to different user characteristics, such as demographics, thinking style and linguistic patterns. The study results will inform the creation of learner models to drive personalisation that will enhance learner motivation across the healthcare industry.

Scaled Insights’ close collaboration with colleagues across the University also includes work to define and develop robust protocols for the collection, storage and processing of research data, which satisfies stringent University and NHS criteria.

The company are also working with the next generation of talent at the University, providing mentoring for students at the Leeds University Business School and recruiting for a summer marketing consultancy project.

Collaborative working is behind every project we undertake and provides so many benefits, that’s why partnership with the University of Leeds was fundamental to our choice to move our headquarters from Canada to Leeds. Being part of the community means that our AI expertise can be combined with the brilliant academic minds of the University, often using interdisciplinary research to work in true collaboration.