Episode Eight: Bo Cao: Machine learning and mental health
Play • 37 min
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, in any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness and by age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness. How might advances in precision health change how we address mental health problems? Dr. Bo “Cloud” Cao research interests include developing tools to enable personalized diagnosis and treatment for mental disorders, brain development and aging as well as neuromodulation and neurofeedback. We talk about the brain and the new, quantitative approaches to psychiatry made possible because of big data, the tools he’s developing to support the personalization of mental health treatments, the ethical use of data, how he addresses missing or lack of data in underrepresented populations and the importance of being part of an interdisciplinary team in order to develop real world solutions.

“Computational psychiatry...involves the use of more and more data from all modalities - imaging, genetics, medical records...all of this allow us to apply machine learning to the field of psychiatry. We can now investigate problems in new ways - it’s no longer just about doing one clinical trial.” -  Bo “Cloud” Cao

Dr. Bo Cao is an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair (CRC; Tier 2) in Computational Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta (UAlberta). Trained in mathematics (BSc), psychology (MSc), computational neuroscience (PhD), neuroimaging and psychiatry (postdoc), Dr. Cao has a strong passion for understanding the fundamental mechanisms of how the brain works and how to cure the brain when the mechanisms are disturbed. Dr. Cao's main research interests are computational psychiatry and precision medicine in mental health, brain development  and aging, general aging, and neuromodulation and neurofeedback.
Season two of AI4Society Dialogues is a co-production between two signature research areas at the University of Alberta, AI4Society and Precision Health.

Host: Katrina Ingram, Founder and CEO, Ethically Aligned AI
Technical Producer: Corey Stroeder
Special thanks to Kaly Vittala for research and production support.
Theme music: “Seeing the Future” by Dexter Britain

Dr. Eleni Stroulia, Professor, Computer Science and Director, AI4Society
Dr. Lawrence Richer, Vice Dean, Research, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Copyright 2021 University of Alberta. All rights reserved.
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