Action Mental Health is gearing up for a very busy 2020 with a range of significant new developments and projects.
One of those is Menhir – like an Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant for mental health. More used to giving us weather or traffic updates, Menhir’s artificial intelligence (AI) will be employed to help people’s mental health and well-being.
Menhir is being spearheaded by a collaborative team from Northern Ireland – including Action Mental Health and Ulster University – England, Germany, Italy and Spain.
It is a four-year Research & Development project which aims to identify people at risk of mental ill health and self-harm.
Research is currently ongoing into the analysis of conversational speech, plus emotional and perceptual analysis, to enable the system to identify the mood of a person through interactive conversations.
The system will ask questions of the user, with its inbuilt AI being equipped to gauge and detect emotions through a person’s tone of voice and speech patterns. It will also seek out key risk words for those at particular risk of self-harm, then make an analysis from this data.
If, through all this, a person is deemed at risk, the system will raise a red flag for action. For example, if a client of Action Mental Health, was deemed at risk of self-harm, their key worker would be able to address their issues, and encourage them to seek professional help.
Action Mental Health’s role, in this, the first stage of the project, is to support the clients engaged in the Menhir research. AMH will provide the advice and guidance for Menhir researchers by recruiting people from among clients and those from New Life Counselling.
NLC counsellors will then carry out interviews and will record and analyse the interviews – assessing the language used and the emotions conveyed through their speech in speaking about their mental health.
This data will help to inform the IT professionals in Menhir to develop the artificial intelligence behind the AI device that people will have in their homes.
For further information visit Menhir’s website http://menhir-project.eu/index.php/about/