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Monday, March 27, 2023

Can an artificial intelligence like ChatGPT detect the first signs of depression?

Artificial intelligence algorithms such as ChatGPT have the potential to revolutionize the world of medicine, especially in the area of ​​mental health. There are already studies aimed at establishing whether this AI can detect the first signs of disorders such as depression.

Early detection of these disorders is essential to ensure appropriate treatment and patient well-being. However, in many cases, this is the least understood and difficult to detect stage of the disease. This is why a group of researchers from the University of Victoria in Australia took the initiative to integrate chatbots like ChatGPT into the psychiatric process.

To this end, a personalized ChatGPT-style chatbot has been developed, calling it DEPRA (“Depression”). With this tool, researchers are investigating whether this class of AI can serve as a support when it comes to identifying and helping patients in the early stages of the disease.

DEPRA can help members explore their own mental health as a guideline so healthcare professionals can help patients with depression.

The researchers used the Google Dialogflow platform to create the DEPRA chatbot. With its interface, they were able to create a kind of ChatGPT to diagnose depression in a selected sample of the population. Additionally, the AI ​​was also able to filter the results based on their severity levels based on the Hamilton Depression Scale.

DEPRA is integrated with Facebook* Messenger, the platform used by members to communicate with DEPRA. After that, the chatbot launched a user survey, which lasted about 30 minutes. The study noted that interacting with artificial intelligence brought “high levels of satisfaction” to participants.

The chatbot’s artificial intelligence takes into account “mood, guilt, suicidal tendencies, insomnia, excitement or lag, anxiety, weight changes and body symptoms to diagnose levels of depression “, they describe in research. To test this, a group of 50 Australians was recruited.

They indicated that the questions were easy to understand and easy to answer, that it took them less time than attending an in-person session with a psychiatrist, and that they preferred the option of texting via the platforms. social media rather than talking to a psychiatrist in a consultation session.

For the researchers, the use of artificial intelligence to diagnose depression early has an additional advantage. By communicating directly with the computer, patients can be less embarrassed to talk, expressing their thoughts openly. The 24/7 availability of the tool also adds additional flexibility not found in current ways of working with mental health professionals.

Promising results from DEPRA

According to the results obtained with the help of artificial intelligence, 30% of the respondents did not show symptoms of depression. For this reason, the DEPRA chatbot has decided not to recommend a session with psychiatrists or other healthcare professionals. However, 20% of participants reported very severe symptoms of early depression, while 22% had moderate symptoms.

The research team plans to improve its DEPRA chatbot in the future. While the AI ​​currently relies on manual calculation based on the user’s reaction to which it assigns a score, the next version will use machine learning and sentiment analysis algorithms to automatically calculate depression levels. closer to technologies like ChatGPT. This way, participants can get results in the shortest possible time and get the help they need.

Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done, because AI like ChatGPT is relatively new and the knowledge about it is not so deep yet.

See also: GPT-4 is able to understand and explain memes.

    • belongs to the company Meta, banned in Russia.

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