Virtual Therapist Seeks Behavior Patterns Underlying Emotional Distress.

On its “Morning Edition” program and on its “Shots” blog, NPR (5/20) reported that a virtual therapist named Ellie was created at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies “to talk to people who are struggling emotionally, and to take their measure in a way no human can. Her makers believe that her ability to do this will ultimately revolutionize the way mental health care is practiced in this country.” Ellie tracks up to 60 different kinds of movements of the physical behavior of people she interviews. After sessions with patients, she produces a detailed report which can flag certain behaviors indicative of emotional distress or depression, for example.

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— “If Your Shrink Is A Bot, How Do You Respond?, “Alix Spiegel, NPR, May 20, 2013.

Posted in In The News.