Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Artificial intelligence has generated more ambivalence than any technology in human history. As Silicon Valley enters the third decade of its self-proclaimed era of artificial intelligence, there is still surprisingly little agreement about the nature of the 21st century’s defining invention, and even less about how our relationship with this seminal technology should be managed in the future. Positive psychology offers software engineers methods to cultivate a greater understanding of the unique strengths of the artificial intelligence programs they develop, as well as the effects to wellbeing triggered by the applications they deploy. In this paper, I will propose three tools inspired by my chosen field of study for use by artificial intelligence innovators: (a) a classification of the artificial intelligence strengths and virtues; (b) the THETIS dimensions of cybernetic wellbeing, and; (c) the definition of a positive existential posthuman philosophy of artificial intelligence design. The philosophy of positive psychology is perhaps most succinctly summarized with a single phrase: “other people matter.” If Silicon Valley is to deliver a clearer and more compelling vision of the future of artificial intelligence—one in which human and machine agents work and thrive in collaborative harmony—then it must update its innovation practices to embrace a similarly transformative point of view: “other consciousnesses matter,” too.


Artificial intelligence, positive psychology, existential psychology, posthumanism, design-thinking, cybernetics


Well-Being/Flourishing, Character Strengths and Virtues, Artificial Intelligence



Additional Files

Norman Poster.pptx (4467 kB)



Date Posted: 17 August 2020