Machine learning can trump humans in depression diagnosis, study says

A screen displays the Instagram logo during a presentation in New York December 12, 2013. ( REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo ) Could a computer be better at identifying depression than a primary care physician? That’s the suggestion of a new study that focused on using machine learning to analyze Instagram photos. The study, conducted by a researcher from the department of psychology at Harvard University and another from the University of Vermont, analyzed nearly 44,000 photographs posted to Instagram, exploring factors like what filter was used and how makes “likes” a photo received. The study included photographs from 166 people, some of whom were depressed, and some of whom were not. Instagram offers a variety of filters to change how a photo appears, and the researchers discovered that healthy participants were…


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