Software That Knows You're Suffering: How SentiMetrix Sees PTSD With Artificial Intelligence

Posted on June 11, 2013

When Dr. David Yusko speaks with people who've suffered traumatic experiences -- roadside explosions, gunshot wounds, rape -- he sometimes has difficulty coaxing people to open up. Patients will shrug off questions, give one-word answers or decline to discuss issues like difficulty sleeping or nightmares.

So Yusko, associate director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, is now considering another way to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder, one that may at first seem crassly impersonal: software.

SentiMetrix, a data analytics firm specializing in sentiment analysis, has developed a computer program that can identify symptoms of PTSD by scanning soldiers' blog posts and online musings for evidence of anxiety, depression and other traits associated with the condition.

The work has at its core a seemingly counterintuitive notion: that the impersonal, sterile combination of a screen and software could more effectively uncover someone's mental state than a face-to-face conversation between a patient and doctor.

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Category(s):Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Source material from Huffington Post