Lonely people are more likely to talk about loneliness.
For the past two decades, scientists have called loneliness a pandemic. There is a growing worldwide number of suicides and opioid use, often caused by feelings of social isolation. The COVID-19 epidemic only exacerbated the situation, so scientists at the University of California, San Diego, decided to develop an objective tool to diagnose the condition. The findings of the study are published on the university’s website, writes HighTech Plus.
The new approach will more accurately identify the most vulnerable people, eliminating the subjectivity of self-esteem. Feelings of loneliness and social isolation are associated with the development of many serious illnesses, so doctors need informative tools to monitor patients and predict risks.
The team taught artificial intelligence to evaluate the speech of older people during a conversation. Artificial intelligence analyzes subtle linguistic features that exhibit emotions to diagnose the condition.
According to the authors, the use of artificial intelligence can determine feelings of loneliness with an accuracy of 94%.
The program analyzed data from 80 people aged 66 to 94 who had lengthy interviews with research interlocutors. Observing the language patterns, scientists have identified the three most pronounced.
Yes, lonely people usually gave longer answers to direct questions about loneliness, and more often expressed sadness. Women more often than men admitted that they feel lonely, and in the speech of men there were more emotions of joy or fear.
“The study demonstrates the ability to use speech analysis to understand complex emotions such as loneliness,” the researchers said. In the future, such a tool will allow doctors to identify in a timely manner the most vulnerable patients who may be offered the necessary medical and social care.
Recent studies show that social isolation exacerbates inflammation in the body, which is associated with oncology, autoimmune and other serious diseases. Researchers have also found that social isolation increases the risk of death by 50%.