Can robots replace psychiatrists?

On the couch? Your therapist may soon be replaced by a robopsychiatrist

Ellie, an AI therapist who thrives deep in the hearts of University of Southern California’s (USC) computers, can treat people with depression and veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, she has been ranked higher than human therapists in eliciting personal information from patients. Born out of DARPA’s funding, Ellie was designed as part of a virtual reality (VR) programme named SimSensei. Ellie is still in the research stage, but USC researchers say her reach will be greatly expanded in the future. Ellie will soon interview cancer patients about the difficulties they face with their illnesses and separately consult veterans about their traumas. ….[READ]