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Michael Plant

DPhil Candidate in Philosophy/CEO, Hippo, University of Oxford


Michael Plant is a DPhil candidate in Philosophy where he researches the most effective ways to increase human happiness. He's also the CEO of Hippo (, a start-up developing an app that combines mood-tracking and artificial intelligence to provide personalised coaching for mental health and well-being. It's sort of a 'FitBit for the mind'. He's uncomfortable writing in the third-person.

Here's slightly more further information on each project for the determined reader:

1. Hippo is happiness tracker and trainer app. Michael is the CEO and Co-Founder. Hippo is currently developing an AI framework that will analyse your data and give you instant, personalised, evidence-based happiness advice. Our goal is to use technology to 'solve' stress, misery, anxiety, boredom and depression around the world. It's presently being beta-tested on android.

2. For his PhD, Michael aims to establish the most cost-effective ways for individuals (i.e. effective altruists) and governments to promote well-being. In order to get an answer to those questions he also dabbles with issues such as: "what is 'happiness'?", "how do we measure it?", "how should we value the happiness of non-human animals and future people?", "should we prioritise saving lives or improving lives?" and "what can individuals do to maxise their own happiness?".

He previously worked as a Parliamentary Researcher and speechwriter for a UK Government Minister. Fortunately all his speeches about shipping policy, and the bad puns within them, have since sunk without trace.