Biological Psychiatry

Artificial Intelligence for Mental Health Care: Clinical Applications, Barriers, Facilitators, and Artificial Wisdom

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly employed in health care fields such as oncology, radiology, and dermatology. However, the use of AI in mental health care and neurobiological research has been modest. Given the high morbidity and mortality in people with psychiatric disorders, coupled with a worsening shortage of mental health care providers, there is an urgent need for AI to help identify high-risk individuals and provide interventions to prevent and treat mental illnesses. While published research on AI in neuropsychiatry is rather limited, there is a growing number of successful examples of AI's use with electronic health records, brain imaging, sensor-based monitoring systems, and social media platforms to predict, classify, or subgroup mental illnesses as well as problems such as suicidality. This article is the product of a study group held at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference in 2019. It provides an overview of AI approaches in mental health care, seeking to help with clinical diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, as well as clinical and technological challenges, focusing on multiple illustrative publications. Although AI could help redefine mental illnesses more objectively, identify them at a prodromal stage, personalize treatments, and empower patients in their own care, it must address issues of bias, privacy, transparency, and other ethical concerns. These aspirations reflect human wisdom, which is more strongly associated than intelligence with individual and societal well-being. Thus, the future AI or artificial wisdom could provide technology that enables more compassionate and ethically sound care to diverse groups of people.