Dustin McDermott

Graduate Student, Kansas State University

Dustin McDermott is part of the next generation of design. He is a Graduate Student at Kansas State University, working towards his master's in industrial design. He has a passion for furniture and technology design and is currently conducting research on the relationships between Music Therapy, Artificial Intelligence, and Mental Health.

Artificial Intelligence, Music Therapy, and the Fight against Mental Illness: Exploration of Product/Service Opportunities for Designers

Education Symposium
Academic Paper

Sept 13, 2022

Main Stage

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM

Society is struggling to maintain their mental health now more than ever; and with new advancements in Artificial Intelligence and up and coming medical practices (like Music Therapy), we can combat mental illnesses in unique and personalized ways.

The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between Music, AI, and Mental Illness. This study focuses on the interactions people currently have with music (therapy) and AI, and how integrating them into the smart home system could improve the user’s daily life. 130 participants completed a survey where they were asked questions about their relationship with music, AI, and mental illness/health. From their responses a set of interview questions was created, and two semi-structured interviews were conducted. All results were analyzed and sorted through for importance.

The results of the survey and interview indicate that music is integrated into everyone’s lives in different ways, which prompts the need for a personalized smart home system. All participants found that a smart home assistant would be helpful and would positively impact their mental health. This smart home system/assistant would bring a personalized and adapting musical and compelling experience.