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We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with technology company Lenovo and to be working with them to support the mental health of the Gen Z generation across the UK.

Lenovo has launched a groundbreaking social experiment using AI to raise awareness of the loneliness and anxiety that can be faced by Gen Zs, when confronted with big differences in their real and online lives. 

Research by the company has found that three in four British Gen Zs feel a disconnect between who they are online and offline, with half finding it easier to express themselves digitally. With 27% of Gen Zs saying they feel they won’t be judged online and 22% declaring they are not afraid to be themselves in a digital sphere, 40% say they find it easier to communicate how they feel through technology.

The research was conducted as part of Lenovo’s ‘Meet Your Digital Self’ social experiment. Born from a recognition of the impact of digital technologies, the project highlights the role that smarter technology and AI can play in helping to advance change and support in addressing the global youth mental health crisis. This work aims to address the challenges young people face when living different lives in the real world versus online, with the research finding that 61% of Gen Zs wish they could have difficult conversations with family in real life.

Lenovo’s new project sees the online personas of two Gen Z individuals from the UK and Japan brought to life as AI-powered three-dimensional avatars. The social experiment facilitated heartfelt conversations between the participants, their family members, and the avatars – conversations that might not have happened in real life otherwise. The family members either didn’t know about their Gen Z participant’s online world, or didn’t understand and accept it: be it their career choices or gender identity.

This video shows how Oscar’s online persona, Spider, was brought to life using cutting edge technologies as an AI-powered three-dimensional avatar. Spider was able to have a conversation with Oscar’s grandmother Nunu, helping to bridge the gap between their online and offline worlds and allowing them to present their ‘true’ self and reconnect with Nunu.

Lenovo’s ambition is to spark meaningful conversations that contribute to the mental wellbeing of individuals and communities worldwide.

Watch the film:

"One in eight people globally grapple with a mental health condition, with Gen Z experiencing the greatest impact, where that figure rises to one in five. This type of AI innovation in Lenovo’s ‘Meet Your Digital Self’ social experiment shows promise as a way in which generations with different understandings of online personas can meet and understand each other.”

Sarah Kendrick

Clinical Director at Mental Health Innovations