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"The Future is Knocking: How Artificial Intelligence Will Fundamentally Change Psychiatry"

by Brunn, Matthias; Diefenbacher, Albert; Courtet, Philippe; Genieys, William (2020)


Artificial intelligence (AI) is inducing a profound transformation of both the practice and structure of medicine. This implies changes in tasks, where certain processes may be taken over by AI applications, as well as novel ways of collaborating and integrating information. Consider a recent example where AI is used to avoid suicide attempts by using smartphones’ native sensors and signal processing techniques [1]. This new suicide prevention technique requires the psychiatrist to acquire new skills (handling and interpreting continuous patient data sent by a dedicated application) and interact with new actors (programmers, data managers, etc.). Further, the abundance of individual patient data may contribute to a shift in conceptualizing care—from the traditional identification of general risk factors towards more tailored prevention strategies in the sense of personalized medicine [1]. Thus, unlike past technologies, AI has the potential to not only enhance medical capacity but also change the way health professionals are organized and embedded into the broader medical context. In particular, the implementation of AI applications is leading to a redistribution and renegotiation of responsibilities—and thus power—both within medicine and in relation with other stakeholders. This article discusses the future impact of AI on psychiatry, highlights the challenges for research, and outlines perspectives for the next generation of psychiatrists.


Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Psychiatry, Mental Health, Mental Health Work, Medicine


AI and Counselling

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