Tech Time

By Maggie Zeppelin

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that affects millions of people around the globe. It is caused by a traumatic event that haunts a person for the rest of their life. Worldwide, 70% of adults will experience a traumatic event at some point. PTSD is diagnosed by a clinical interview or self-report assessment, which tends to be biased. PTSD is slow to diagnose and track progress, but that will soon be changed.

Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) is an artificial intelligence (AI) that can diagnose PTSD from the sound of a voice. Traumatic events can change brain circuits and ultimately affect emotion and muscles, therefore, it also has many effects on speech. This includes vocabulary, frequency, rhythm, tone, and articulation. Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine conducted a study where 53 military veterans with military-related PTSD and 78 veterans without PTSD were recorded in interviews. These interviews were used by CAPS to diagnose PTSD. It distinguished the voices’ speed and tone and had a 89% accuracy rate. This type of AI “learns” from other examples of patterns and uses those examples for future reference. CAPS used a total of 40,526 patterns of speech in this study.

Mental disorders are becoming more common, but there are efforts being made to help. New technology is being invented to combat these epidemics, and it is changing the world. If you or someone you know if facing a mental disorder, please do not be afraid to get help. There are people that are ready to support and offer guidance to anybody that needs it, no matter the story.

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