An artificial intelligence running coach helped me run farther and faster

August 30, 2019 at 01:44PM by CWC

When I used to envision the future as a young child, I pictured hovering cars, very advanced, Jetsons-style robots, and lots of artificial intelligence action. So when news of an artificial intelligence-based fitness app came across our desks at Well+Good, senior video producer Ella Dove (who’s always down to try anything) jumped right on it.


In our latest episode of Well+Good’s YouTube series What the Wellnesswe get to witness Dove do just that: She ventures to Brooklyn to let an artificial intelligence running coach (AKA: the Vi app) take her through a serious sweat sesh on the treadmill. Vi involves an actual, AI-based trainer to improve your personal running technique, give you feedback in real time, and act as a more accessible (and affordable) personal trainer. It’s like Siri as a running coach that pushes you to squeeze more miles out of the same time sequence you might be used to.

So, real talk: Does she (because the AI in this scenario is a lady) yell at you when you slack? Is she a strict coach? “We call it tough love, let’s put it this way,” says Vi’s founder and CEO Omri Yoffe. Dove gets onto the tread, and the Vi greets her with a mysterious “What we do today is just a taste of the adventure you’re in for.” How does the workout wind up? Does Dove slay her run, thanks to the assistance of artificial intelligence? Is this robot-coach scary, or motivating? Watch it all unfold in our tech-iest episode yet.

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Craving more What the Wellness? Check out our other episodes, which explore things like what a lymphatic drainage massage actually consists of, and what it means to get a gemstone acupuncture facial (which you’ve likely seen all over your Instagram feed). 

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Author Rachel Lapidos | Well and Good
Selected by CWC