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Artificial Intelligence’s Advent into Mental Health

There was a time when terms like Artificial Intelligence and Robotics made us conjure up images of devices that are emotionless and are perhaps employed by rogue corporates to further their monetary interests. But that’s not the case anymore. Today, people pursuing engineering abroad or here have reached such levels that engineers and scientists are developing AI and Deep Learning based robots and tools that can assist humans in improving their emotional and psychological well-being.

Latest in the line of inventions involving AI and Deep Learning are devices that can help those affected with autism. Let’s have a look at what this means for the field of autism and psychology as a whole:

Autism on the Rise:

Autism is a disorder which affects the speech and communication of humans. Autism mostly starts affecting children once they cross the age of 5. The incidents are 4 times higher among boys as compared to girls. And every year, the incidents of autism are rising by 10-17%, which is quite an alarming number. Given the rise, it’s imperative to work on devices that can work towards treating the same.

AI and Machine Learning for Detecting Autism:

Engineering abroad  and B.Tech abroad has reached futuristic levels. Researchers and Scientists at the University of North Carolina have been successful in developing AI and Machine Learning tools that can scan and map the brain of a 6-month-old kid and predict whether they are likely to develop autism in the future or not.

The system, which is heavily based on AI and Machine Learning algorithms, scans every piece of the brain and studies the interrelation between various parts, and how different parts interact with each other. What’s interesting to note is that the algorithms could identify lapses between communication, and as a result pick out traits that corresponded to autistic tendencies.

The algorithm successfully predicted that 9 out of 11 kids would be diagnosed with autism, and it did turn out to be true.  

Artificial Intelligence for teaching autistic children

One of the key traits that distinguishes robots from humans is the ability to repeat. Robots can repeat instructions as many times as needed, whereas human teachers often get fatigued. When it comes to autistic children, the need of the hour is a teacher that can repeat instructions until the time the child understands and learns.

Source: https://asknao.aldebaran.com/sites/default/files/robot_aid_in_therapy.jpg

Scientists have reported that autistic kids are also more open to robots and AI as compared to humans. Usage of AI has reportedly caused an improvement of 30% in the speech and communication skills of autistic children.

AI and Deep Learning for improving Autism:

Robots are specifically being designed to study the expressions and communication pattern of kids. Based on deep learning, these robots can identify what will catch the attention of these kids. Then they automatically interact with kids in a way that teaches them social norms, and corrects their behaviour if they go wrong.

Source: https://www.emergingedtech.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/milo-robot-dallas-morning-news.jpg

AI and Machine Learning has already reached a stage where people are thinking whether robots will replace therapists and doctors. However, the truth is that AI and deep learning robots will work hand-in-hand with doctors by providing them vital stats and information about patients that will aid their treatment.

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