MindMentor Computer-Based Psychotherapy
MindMentor provides completely automated, computer-based therapy at a remarkable discount; less than ten percent of what you would expect to pay a human therapist.
(MindMentor computer psychotherapist)
MindMentor was developed by two Dutch psychologists, Jaap Hollander and Jeffrey Wijnberg. Their intent was to imitate the kind of dialog between a real patient and therapist. The design is based on Eliza, a fifty-year-old program that was a quick success for AI theorists in the 1960's.
Eliza was written by Joseph Weizenbaum, who died earlier this month.
According to the two doctors who created MindMentor, forty-seven percent of it's patients reported their problems as resolved.
Traditional therapists don't think much of the Eliza method, which essentially parodies the method of a Rogerian therapist. This method is particularly well-suited to computer adaptation. Eliza would respond to the statement "My head hurts" with a statement like "Tell me why your head hurts."
SF writers thought about computer psychiatry before Eliza was written. In his 1964 novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Philip K. Dick creates a character named Dr. Smile. Dr. Smile is implemented in a manner similar to that of MindMentor; a remote computer manifests the character on a local device:
And there in the next room by the sofa sat a familiar suitcase, that of his psychiatrist Dr. Smile.
Barefoot, he padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile. Meters began to register and the mechanism hummed...
The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile, connected by micro-relay to the computer itself in the basement level of Barney's own conapt building in New York, the Renown 33, tinnily declared, "Ah, Mr. Bayerson."
(Read more about Dr. Smile)
Readers may also remember Sigrid von Shrink from Frederik Pohl's 1970 novel Gateway.
The earliest reference I can think of is from the 1957 James Blish novel Cities in Flight; the fascinating City Fathers are machine psychologists with deep insight into citizens and passengers:
"Dead though they are, the machines aren't ignorant of human psychology - far from it. They know very well that some students respond better to reward than punishment, and that others have to be driven by fear. The second kind is usually the less intelligent, and they know that, too; how could they not know it after so many generations of experience. You're lucky they've put you in the first category."
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/27/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.' - Isaac Asimov, 1941.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'
Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.
Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'
Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'
MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'
EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'
UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'
Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'
Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'
Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'
Music Not Impossible (MNI) Vibrotactile Wearable Experience
Don't you want to experience the 'feely' effects?
Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'
A Look Back At Apollo's Emergency Escape Vehicle
'A simple mechanism... it drove the iron ball through space like a ship.'
InMotion Glide 3 Electric Unicycle For The Last Mile
'...gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'
China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.'
Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories