The world of Artificial Intelligence and Psychology

When we listen to the word Artificial Intelligence (AI), probably most of us will think about ‘something related to computers’. Nothing could be further from the truth. But then, how is it related to Psychology?

We may think that Psychology deals with the most human side, and we don’t need technological tools to get better day by day. The truth is that the field of Psychology keeps growing every day and Artificial Intelligence is part of it, because it is the attempt of making a machine reach the level of “intelligence” of a human being.

In its early years, the AI was created to emulate the functioning of the mind and the brain in a computer software. More specifically in the AI, in the field of Deep Learning, the Artificial Neural Networks try to imitate the neural networks of a living organism. Its goal is to get a combination of parameters which better fit a specific problem.

Since this discovery, psychologists as Miller started to perform studies about the limits of the human being and the processing of information, mainly in the area of the Cognitive Sciences. From that moment on, cognitive psychology and the AI have complemented each other. But, truth be told, new branches of Psychology such as the Neuropsychology, the Experimental Psychology or the Neuroscience are areas where there has been a lot of innovation thanks to this research. In fact, some authors agree on the idea of a strong compatibility in the coming years between the AI and the more human branches of the Psychology.

On-line therapy by Artificial Intelligence

It is also true that the field of AI is also growing, but, at the same time, many clinic psychologists don’t think that this side can be compatible with the “most human side” of people. However, there are apps which use AI to offer help and therapy online, search the most suitable psychologist according to your needs and even may tell you which is the best professional profile for your unique condition / case.

This situation may be controversial in the world of Psychology, and one of the main reasons for that is the ethical aspect. Are we careful enough with the data of our patients? Do we really know the implications and the impact of this? The code of ethics (deontological code) is one of the barriers which could exist in this relation between psychology and AI. It is not considered that a machine can reach the level of consciousness or knowledge of a real person.

The same way that in the clinic therapy, in the neuropsychological therapy and the rehabilitation field, we can find apps related to the AI which make communication easier and accelerate the rehabilitation in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer. All this is possible because there are platforms which can recognise human emotions and distinguish our mood. Step by step, all this will become more familiar to us, and we will realise that AI wants only to get in touch with the reality.

This is a field which is now taking shape and the goal is to achieve a more human world complementing this methodology. And, in this way, Psychology may profit from all this.

Translation by Santiago Moreira Martínez 

More articles of Cristina Pérez Lozano

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