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Artificial intelligence could soon use Instagram filters to identify signs of depression, says study


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

August 30, 2016 | 2 min read

The type of filter an individual uses on their Instagram images can give an indication of their mood, according to a new study.

Instagram Filters

A new study claims Instagram filters can help determine a users' mood

Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Vermont recently used AI technology to detect people with low moods on the photo-sharing platform, and found the method to be more effective at diagnosing depression than doctors.

Facial detection software was used to identify features of depression from selfies, which was combined with colour and brightness analysis, and accompanying data from the images themselves as well as type of filters used to detect a person's mood.

The use of one filter in particular, the black and white Inkwell, was found to indicate that users could be depressed. Those who opted for brighter filters, such as Valencia, where less likely to be experiencing depression.

The researchers looked at 144,000 posts from 160 people and their technology could predict if they had suffered from depression 70 per cent of the time. The team contrasted their findings to a recent study that suggested GPs only diagnosed depression 42 per cent of the time without aid from questionnaires or other instruments.

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