David D. Luxton recently wrote a piece for Armed with Science regarding the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing in mental health care. He writes, "AI technology can be designed to accomplish specialized intelligent tasks, such as speech or facial recognition, or to emulate complex human-like intelligent behavior such as reasoning and language processing. AI systems that are capable of interacting with and making autonomous actions within their environment are called artificial intelligent agents. An emerging application of AI technology in the mental healthcare field is the use of artificial intelligent agents to provide training, consultation, and treatment services. Researchers at the USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, for example, are currently developing virtual mental health patients that converse with human trainees."
He continues, "The continual advances of AI technologies and their application in mental healthcare lead to a concept that I call the 'Super Clinician.' The 'Super Clinician' concept is an artificial intelligent agent system that could either be in the form of a virtual reality simulation or a humanoid robot. The system design entails the integration of several advanced technologies and capabilities, including natural language processing, computer vision, facial recognition, olfactory sensors, and even thermal imaging to detect temperature changes in patients (i.e., changes in arousal states such as anger or anxiety)."
Image: Courtesy USC