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IT Technology can't solve all human problems

Yahya Elyasse
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Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

In Fact one specific field that i see software technology really impotent is the mental health area. While software has been used successfully for medical machines commands and other successful and important applications in medicine ; it seems the mental health field has been a field where failure of both pharmacology and software helper tools is astonishing.

This made me think that sometime IT technology doesn't fit a certain field of science or human activity and can't solve these problems. technology can't solve the climate change. failed till now to find a cure for cancer and also it did very little in the mental health area.
mental health problems are becoming widespread these recent 2 decades because of the new stressful modern life and other factors due to tensions caused by humans themselves.

I'm really interested in any research which has been done in the mental health field (especially Depression ,Social anxiety and Bipolar disorder). and if any accredited research university or institution has put some successful technology based methods to help cure these disorders.
If one want to get started in this field and try contribute some IT technology for helping people suffering from such mental diseases; what are books, journals or other materials one should start consulting to gain more insight and contribute hopefully in some interesting solutions based on new technology ?
Well I'm doubtful problems like schizophrenia or social anxiety could be cured by some magical software program ;) but I just wanted to have your opinions if IT could be of any use in such sensitive medical areas?

thanks
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41626
    
  55
Certainly it can be of use, but just as certainly software alone can't address a medical problem.

That's somewhat like trying to implement technological solutions to sociological problems - it's doomed to fail.


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Joe Ess
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Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8877
    
    8

Yahya Elyasse wrote:
I'm really interested in any research which has been done in the mental health field (especially Depression ,Social anxiety and Bipolar disorder). and if any accredited research university or institution has put some successful technology based methods to help cure these disorders.


A good portion of Cognative Therapy consists of tracking one's feelings so one can identify patterns and address them. I could see the tracking being automated. As a matter of fact, one of my friends worked on an app: Should I break up with my boyfriend, which appears to use Cognitive Therapy techniques.
I work at a hospital and I've been collaborating with our mental health institute to extend the reach of their automated assessment application. I'm not sure if there's any "real" research in the field on the impact of such initiatives. If not, it sounds like a good opportunity for a grant proposal.

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Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Doesn't the ELIZA program provide Rogerian therapy?
Joe Ess
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Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8877
    
    8

Frank Silbermann wrote:Doesn't the ELIZA program provide Rogerian therapy?


Weizenbaum said that ELIZA, running the DOCTOR script, provided a "parody" of "the responses of a nondirectional psychotherapist in an initial psychiatric interview."[1] He chose the context of psychotherapy to "sidestep the problem of giving the program a data base of real-world knowledge",[2] the therapeutic situation being one of the few real human situations in which a human being can reply to a statement with a question that indicates very little specific knowledge of the topic under discussion. For example, it is a context in which the question "Who is your favorite composer?" can be answered acceptably with responses such as "What about your own favorite composer?" or "Does that question interest you?"


wiki

So no, it doesn't actually conduct therapy, the therapy situation makes for an easy conversation to mimic.
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4650
    
    5

Frank Silbermann wrote:Doesn't the ELIZA program provide Rogerian therapy?

Plus if you ever used any keywords relating to your mother, ELIZA would jump off into that, no matter what context it was in.
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Yahya Elyasse
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Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Ulf Dittmer wrote:Certainly it can be of use, but just as certainly software alone can't address a medical problem.

That's somewhat like trying to implement technological solutions to sociological problems - it's doomed to fail.


Sorry for my late response.

Yes i was overestimating the capabilities of science and that it could solve almost all humans problems. But recently i started to be aware of the fragility of the human scientific knowledge and its incapacity to tackle many important problems of our world. We even couldn't solve the basic human problem : End hanger and deseases.!

So technology for me stays simply a toy where some scientists and technologists can do some wizardry works that sometimes gives the impression of how amazing and powerful science is. But sometimes i feel this is a mere illusion and that the answer for humans basic and (more important) problems lies away from science and technology.
Yahya Elyasse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Joe Ess wrote:
Frank Silbermann wrote:Doesn't the ELIZA program provide Rogerian therapy?


Weizenbaum said that ELIZA, running the DOCTOR script, provided a "parody" of "the responses of a nondirectional psychotherapist in an initial psychiatric interview."[1] He chose the context of psychotherapy to "sidestep the problem of giving the program a data base of real-world knowledge",[2] the therapeutic situation being one of the few real human situations in which a human being can reply to a statement with a question that indicates very little specific knowledge of the topic under discussion. For example, it is a context in which the question "Who is your favorite composer?" can be answered acceptably with responses such as "What about your own favorite composer?" or "Does that question interest you?"


wiki

So no, it doesn't actually conduct therapy, the therapy situation makes for an easy conversation to mimic.


If I remember Eliza was developed in early 70ies by a computer scientist doing research in machine intelligence. and he developed ELIZA to mimic a counselor and many people using ELIZA were fouled and thought they were really chatting with a real counselor not a machine!
I remember i read somwhere that the same researcher who developed ELIZA became a vivid opponent of this kind of AI work. as he thought there are tasks that only humans can perform and machines cannot perform them especially when we deal with human psych.
ELIZA was a really naive program that does only clever guesses for what could be an answer to specific patients questions. it's purpose was to demonstrate Alan Turing theory that a computer program can fool some humans and made them think it is a real human. (Things from my memory when i read a book a while ago and it raises this issue of ELIZA)
Yahya Elyasse
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Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Joe Ess wrote:
Yahya Elyasse wrote:
I'm really interested in any research which has been done in the mental health field (especially Depression ,Social anxiety and Bipolar disorder). and if any accredited research university or institution has put some successful technology based methods to help cure these disorders.


A good portion of Cognative Therapy consists of tracking one's feelings so one can identify patterns and address them. I could see the tracking being automated. As a matter of fact, one of my friends worked on an app: Should I break up with my boyfriend, which appears to use Cognitive Therapy techniques.
I work at a hospital and I've been collaborating with our mental health institute to extend the reach of their automated assessment application. I'm not sure if there's any "real" research in the field on the impact of such initiatives. If not, it sounds like a good opportunity for a grant proposal.

Hi Joe,
In fact what i'm looking for is a good software technique to apply Cognitive therapy sessions in a smart and user friendly way for patients. probably an iphone or android app that implement CT for social anxiety in a smart, intuitive but efficient way ..that when patients use this app he/she feels better and that the therapy works without having to sit face to face with the psychiatrist.
i'm not sure if this could be done. and if it could , where can we get the Cognitive therapy materials and techniques so we convert this knowledge into a usefull app or software?

thanks
Yahya Elyasse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

below is an article i recently read. it seems they do some research in the field but the methods and results are questionnable!
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/treating-social-anxiety-disorders-0906.html
 
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