Weekly INT Boost – Will AI Take Over Depression Diagnosis?


Our president and co-founder Russ Pitt’s dog Alice demonstrates exactly how I’d like to spend this sunny, summer weekend.

Welcome to our roundup of the best mental health articles you may have missed this week. This week, we have diagnostic AI, advances in brain imaging, mental health challenges faced by writers of color, the benefits of horror games, and a look back at just how cruel we were as a society to emo music fans.

On The Recuperative Power of Interactive Horror

“The therapeutic, or recuperative, power of horror games comes in the most direct, unabashed, form of empathy possible. It is the complete realization of the other- in this case, the game- functionally acknowledging suffering, and when that suffering responds so immediately to the actions of the player, it’s hard to see it as anything but personal.”

Writing for Deorbital, Blakely Winters explores how horror games can resonate for those of us with mental health issues — not because they do a good job of portraying those issues, but because they demand that we exist in horrifying circumstances with their protagonists.

Depression Detecting Artificial Intelligence May Soon Be on the Horizon

“The real key to this type of artificial intelligence teaching is through the use of several individual computing nodes all programmed differently to imitate certain properties of the human brain. Because these neural networks are very agile, intelligent and highly scalable, not only could the artificial intelligence learn how to detect depression by look and sound, but they could also be taught to detected other states of minds and personality traits such as someone who is very egotistical or someone who is very chatty. Eventually, the robots would be so highly trained that they would be able to detect both verbal and body language just as well as a trained doctor.”

Trend In Tech speculates that research on speech patterns in individuals with mental health issues could one day lead to a technological approach to diagnosing depression and other issues.

4 Black Women Writers Get Honest About Mental Illness And Race

“Sometimes I have moments when I think, “I’m literally pleading for people to recognize my humanity, and the humanity of people who look like me, and I’m just hoping something sticks.” To put all of that work in and know that there are people who are still going to discredit me, and basically gaslight the hell out of me, drives me up the wall. Writing about race is for the greater good, but it’s hard to be gentle on ourselves in the process. When is the greater good just not worth the emotional labor?”

The Huffington Post shares a conversation about race and mental health, with a look at the impact editors have when they seek out black writers specifically to cover racism, race issues and traumatic events like police brutality.

This Breakthrough Could Help Scientists See Exactly How Depression, Alzheimer’s, and Autism Transform our Brains

“By revealing changes over time, we might be able to see where sections of synapses are dying off as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, depression, or any other disorder of the brain sets in. And if we can see where these die-offs are happening, we might be able to start intervention sooner. We may even be able to develop drugs that can stop or reverse these changes in the brain (several drugs that may be able to do this are in development, though none are ready for human use yet).”

Business Insider reports on a new process that allows researchers to measure synapses in living brains in a non-invasive way, allowing them to see changes in synaptic density.

Emo’s Overlooked Mental Health Crisis

“The justifications from emo haters remain in decade-old forum posts describing the typical fan as “a middle class white kid with probably no other troubles in life other than the fact the mommy and daddy don’t pay enough attention to” or, more abstractly, “the screaming apathy of a youth culture without any dedication except to their own self-loathing.” So-called “emos” or “emo kids” to this day are mocked for wearing makeup or odd clothing and, most pointedly, for cutting themselves.”

Remember the moral panic about emo music in the early aughts? It may have seemed rather harmless at the time, but The Daily Dot looks back at just how much of it was fuelled by mental health stigma.

That’s it from us this week. I’ll be busy with deadlines over the next couple days, so I’m hoping to get a few minutes of Kentucky Route Zero in when I can. But after waiting two years between episodes, I’m happy to take my time to savor it properly. How about you? Any big gaming plans — or other plans — this weekend? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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