Real Thoughts with Dylan

October 17, 2017

Scavenger Hunt

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dylan @ 10:43 am

Story by Dylan Ferguson. Presented by Mason Knaub

Those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may soon have a new way to open up about their symptoms.

Researchers from USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies are working on a new Artificial Intelligence named Ellie which is designed to engage patients in interviews. Patients sit in a room alone, where the AI communicates with the patient through a television screen. It is capable of asking patients basic questions such as, “Where are you from?” to questions pertaining to their symptoms such as, “How easy is it for you to get a good night’s sleep?”

Patients are not just talking to a television screen, as not only is Ellie capable of giving subtle sympathetic gestures such as a smile or a nod, but knows when to give those gestures. Through this, Ellie is capable of building rapport and encourage patients to open up about their symptoms. The AI also uses a machine eye in order to pick up on the patient’s body language and facial cues in order to provide effective feedback.

To test the AI, the Institute recruited soldiers who recently returned from Afghanistan. According to the magazine WIRED, the Institute reported that, “In the end, test subjects reported significantly more symptoms in their interviews with Ellie than they did with their official Post-Deployment Health Assessment.” Researchers hope that Ellie and other virtual therapists can be used in Clinical Psychology in the future.


1 Comment»

  1. I like the throwaway lead. The hard lead gives you a good focus, but your sentences run long throughout.

    I’m tempted to say drop the middle graf. Broadcast stories are just the highlights. If people want to know the details, they can read Wired. This is 1:10. :45 would have been plenty.

       fuglsang — October 23, 2017 @ 7:16 pm

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