Jul 31, 2022 • 56M

Tom Hale: Oura Ring and the New Data of Health

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Artificiality is dedicated to understanding the emerging community that is humans and machines. We combine AI and big data with decision science, psychology and design to help you understand how to work better with machines and your fellow humans.

We’d all like to be healthier—to sleep longer, have lower stress, and have more energy. But is it possible for an AI to help us accomplish this? And how would that experience feel? What data would we need to provide? How would the AI encourage the behavior changes required? Would it feel like a friend or a bully? Would it work at all?

To answer some of these questions, we talked with Tom Hale, the new CEO at Oura. Oura makes a fascinating device that monitors a long list of signals from your body all through a ring on your finger. That ring connects with an app on your phone that gives you lots of data about your health. Perhaps most interestingly, in addition to the facts about your health, the app provides suggestions for what you might do differently. And it provides those suggestions in a way that seems cautious about making too many conclusions, leaving the true agency with you.

Neither of us owned Oura rings before our conversation so we couldn’t bring that experience to the podcast. But after our conversation we both decided to buy one and give it a try. Our sizing kits are on the way and the rings will follow soon after. We’re planning to record our reactions to the rings so subscribe, if you haven’t already, to get an alert when we publish our experience.

Prior to joining Oura, Tom was President of MomentiveAI, previously called SurveyMonkey, Chief Product and Operating Officer at HomeAway, and a long-time executive at Adobe Systems.

Tom’s personal experience with the Oura Ring before becoming CEO is what tipped the balance and got us to be some of his newest customers. We’ll be interested to hear if any of our listeners do the same.

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Thanks to Jonathan Coulton for our music