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AI device can read your stress level

Researchers at Yamagata University have jointly developed new technologies with a private firm that can measure human stress levels by monitoring fingertips, voice tone and facial expressions.

The developers said they would like to use it to offer a new mental health tool to corporate clients, since increasing remote employment in the middle of the pandemic results in less in-person contact, which means less monitoring how coworkers are doing. 

The computer system uses a mechanism that monitors the heartbeat of a human to calculate how quickly their blood is flowing. It also relies on a mobile microphone and camera to record the person’s speech and facial expressions.

Artificial intelligence software then analyzes the effects of improvements and maps their tension levels, project officials explained. The findings will then be used as a guide for online consultations with a mental health specialist. 

Mental wellbeing tests currently depend on individuals to fill out questionnaires. 

However, the purpose of this project is to provide more accurate evidence to prevent human bias and inaccurate reactions.Most employers often perform this kind of mental health check-up only about once a year. 

But this service makes more frequent monitoring, project officials said. 

The technology was developed by Yamagata University researchers Michio Yokoyama, Associate Professor of Electronic Devices, Tomochika Harada, Assistant Professor of Intelligent Informatics, and Yume Cloud Japan, a Japanese subsidiary of the Silicon Valley-based start-up.

Yume Cloud Japan was created at the Yamagata University Business Starting Center for Organic Material in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture. Tohoku University and Tohoku University of Art and Architecture have also contributed to the construction work, officials said.

“I hope businesses will introduce our (new) service to promote more efficient and more sophisticated mental health care to help reduce the stress levels of their workers,” Yoshida said.  _ Asahi

Several businesses are beginning the MindScale service test run in July after calling to try it. The program will be made available to enterprise clients as of next year. 

Yume Cloud officials already have plans to provide services in the United States. They plan to see MindScale used by about 180,000 people in 2023.

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