NBC News Highlights How ICT Virtual Humans Research Could Help Treat PTSD

Published: July 31, 2014
Category: News

A story on NBC News features ICT’s SimSensei project and states that it could be key screening tool for identifying PTSD. The article also covers a recent study of the system that suggests people disclose more to virtual humans than to real ones. It states that the work was funded by DARPA and the U.S. Army.
The story notes that the technology may be available in clinics, kiosks and via laptops and that the goal is to have an inexpensive, easy-to-carry tool that can spot mental health problems early and track them consistently over time, letting real-life therapists do their jobs more effectively.
“Ultimately, the program can give people a sense of safety,” said ICT’s Gale Lucas, who led the disclosure study. “A human therapist can encourage a sense of safety and make people feel anonymous, but they probably can never make someone feel as anonymous as they do talking to computer.”