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Is it possible to cure Internet addiction with the Internet?

  • William LiuEmail author
  • Farhaan Mirza
  • Ajit Narayanan
  • Seng Souligna
Open Forum


Significant technological advancements over the last two decades have led to enhanced accessibility to computing devices and the Internet. Our society is experiencing an ever-growing integration of the Internet into everyday lives, and this has transformed the way we obtain and exchange information, communicate and interact with one another as well as conduct business. However, the term ‘Internet addiction’ (IA) has emerged from problematic and excessive Internet usage which leads to the development of addictive cyber-behaviours, causing health and social problems. The most commonly used intervention treatments such as motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and retreat or inpatient care mix a variety of psychotherapy theories to treat such addictive behaviour and try to address underlying psychosocial issues that are often coexistent with IA, but the efficacy of these approaches is not yet proved. The aim of this paper is to address the question of whether it is possible to cure IA with the Internet. After detailing the current state-of-the-art including various IA definitions, risk factors, assessment methods and IA treatments, we outline the main research challenges that need to be solved. Moreover, we propose an Internet-based IA Recovery Framework (IARF) which uses AI to closely observe, visualize and analyse patient’s Internet usage behaviour for possible staged intervention. The proposal to use smart Internet-based systems to control IA can be expected to be controversial. This paper is intended to stimulate further discussion and research in IA recovery through Internet-based frameworks.


Internet addiction Intervention Recovery framework Artificial intelligence 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Farhaan Mirza
    • 1
  • Ajit Narayanan
    • 1
  • Seng Souligna
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical SciencesAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand

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