Scientists create artificial intelligence to assess mental health through facial expressions

 German researchers have developed a method for identifying mental disorders based on facial expressions that are interpreted and analyzed by an innovative artificial intelligence program, according to a report for the website "Deutsche Welle".

The new AI program can distinguish between people who are not infected or affected by a disorder, and it can also correctly differentiate between cases of depression and schizophrenia, as well as the degree to which the patient is currently affected by the disease.

The researchers presented a composite image representing the control group of their tests (on the left in the photo below) and patients with mental disorders (right). The identities of several people are mixed during the testing period to assess the program's efficiency.

Doctors say that individuals with emotional disorders tend to have raised eyebrows, sharp glances, swollen faces, and drooping lips or cheeks. To protect the patient's privacy, these emojis have been made available to support the idea of the program.

The study was published under the name "the face of emotional disorders", and 8 researchers from a wide range of institutions in the private and public medical research sector participated in the experiments, and was published on the website of the Department of computer research and recognition models at Cornell University.

So far, artificial intelligence has been used to recognize the impact of those dysfunctions that appear mainly on the face as a potential tool for the primary diagnosis. The new approach also offers an easy-to-follow way to assess patients ' progress during treatment, or in their local environment to monitor changes in them.

The researchers called this technique "Opto electronic encephalography", a method in which a doctor or specialist does not communicate directly with the patient, but the mental state is inferred by analyzing the image of the face instead of local sensors or medical imaging techniques based on radiation.

Data were collected from 100 patients of both sexes at the University Hospital in Aachen, along with a standard control group of 50 healthy people. Among the patients, 35 had schizophrenia, and 65 had depression.

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