Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

MindMentor Computer-Based Psychotherapy

MindMentor provides completely automated, computer-based therapy at a remarkable discount; less than ten percent of what you would expect to pay a human therapist.


(MindMentor computer psychotherapist)

MindMentor was developed by two Dutch psychologists, Jaap Hollander and Jeffrey Wijnberg. Their intent was to imitate the kind of dialog between a real patient and therapist. The design is based on Eliza, a fifty-year-old program that was a quick success for AI theorists in the 1960's.

Eliza was written by Joseph Weizenbaum, who died earlier this month.

According to the two doctors who created MindMentor, forty-seven percent of it's patients reported their problems as resolved.

Traditional therapists don't think much of the Eliza method, which essentially parodies the method of a Rogerian therapist. This method is particularly well-suited to computer adaptation. Eliza would respond to the statement "My head hurts" with a statement like "Tell me why your head hurts."

SF writers thought about computer psychiatry before Eliza was written. In his 1964 novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Philip K. Dick creates a character named Dr. Smile. Dr. Smile is implemented in a manner similar to that of MindMentor; a remote computer manifests the character on a local device:

And there in the next room by the sofa sat a familiar suitcase, that of his psychiatrist Dr. Smile.

Barefoot, he padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile. Meters began to register and the mechanism hummed...

The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile, connected by micro-relay to the computer itself in the basement level of Barney's own conapt building in New York, the Renown 33, tinnily declared, "Ah, Mr. Bayerson."
(Read more about Dr. Smile)

Readers may also remember Sigrid von Shrink from Frederik Pohl's 1970 novel Gateway.

The earliest reference I can think of is from the 1957 James Blish novel Cities in Flight; the fascinating City Fathers are machine psychologists with deep insight into citizens and passengers:

"Dead though they are, the machines aren't ignorant of human psychology - far from it. They know very well that some students respond better to reward than punishment, and that others have to be driven by fear. The second kind is usually the less intelligent, and they know that, too; how could they not know it after so many generations of experience. You're lucky they've put you in the first category."

Via Wired.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/27/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Computer ")

AVATECT Prevents Spoofing Of Avatars
'Your physical appearance is a graphical encryption that the human mind is uniquely qualified to decode.' - Daniel Suarez, 2009.

I Really Want A Folding Computer
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.' - William Gibson, 1986.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 Perfect For William Gibson's 'Control-Face'
'Chia recognized the square as the control-face of the computer she'd seen in his room.' William Gibson, 1996.

Poor Humans. Miami Herald Bot Writes Great Real Estate Articles.
'Nothing of news-interest escape it...' - Philip K. Dick, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

The Mojo Smart Contact Lens Experience
'... the lens displays would be useless without a wearable computer to do the graphics.'

Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers
'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...'

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

China Wants 'Hard Kill' Capability To Counter Starlink Satellites
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'

Pixy Flying Selfie Drone From Snap
'It hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'

Smallest Remote-Controlled Walking Robot Crabs
A robot 'as big as a dust grain.'

Pleasure Model Replicants Now Available
'Want a life-companion... sir, I can get you up any style you want.'

Robot Covered In Living Human Skin
'Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there or what?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.