A chatbot can diagnose Asperger's or Autism

Oops .... wrong planet!

More and more people are moving in the autistic spectrum, researchers speak of an epidemic

A study carried out by the M.I.N.D. Institute of the University of California, under the direction of Dr. Robert Byrd, and has been featured in many major US newspapers, comes to the conclusion that the dramatic increase in autistic symptoms is not - as hoped - related to expanded diagnostic criteria, improved diagnostic options, or statistical anomalies.

Suddenly there is talk of an epidemic everywhere. "It's a dramatic epidemic and it's spreading around the world," said Bernard Rimland, founder of the Autism Research Institute in San Diego and a former psychological consultant on the set of Rain Man.

Autism, also known as the "Oooops ... wrong planet!" Syndrome, is a consequence of developmental disorders of the brain stem that begin very early in the womb. Asperger's Syndrome is a mild form of autism that is usually associated with good language skills, above-average intelligence and obsessively driven - often technical - interests. (There is a pretty good test online)

The Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger, who is credited with discovering the syndrome named after him, noted in 1944 that one of his little patients was making up "fantastic inventions like spaceships" and added: "You can see how unrealistic autistic interests are." When he heard the first spaceships years later, he popularized joking that they were probably thought up by autistic people (see The Geek-Autism Connection).

For the period from 1987 to 1998, the California Department of Developmental Services has now registered an increase of 273 percent, with around nine cases being added every day in California. For comparison: epilepsy diseases only increased by 30 to 40 percent, consistent with the population growth. According to experts, the fact that California in particular has such alarming figures is due to the fact that more precise data is collected here. But maybe the gene pool of technology freaks in Silicon Valley also plays a role? Exploding autism numbers have also been gathered in the Boston area (Route 128).

The autism DNA scripts are also passed down by parents who have just some of the symptoms. Often times, parents are only diagnosed after their children have been diagnosed. The panic that is spreading now is that as a result of the essortative mating In geek enclaves, parents who have mild Asperger's Syndrome will soon give birth to hordes of autistic children who cannot cope without therapeutic help.

According to a study published by the International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium in the American Journal of Human Genetics last September, there are genes on chromosomes 2, 7.16, and 17 that favor autism, with genetic makeup on chromosome 2 seem to have the greatest importance.

According to Robert Byrd from M.I.N.D. Institute no epidemic. So all kinds of drugs are suspected, which are administered to young children, assumptions for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" for autistic people

Autistic people lack that Theory of Mindas psychologists call it, the ability to recognize the feelings and thoughts of others. While in autism in Asperger's sense the problems of perception processing are in the foreground and fewer problems of thinking and intellectual-intellectual functions, in the autistic disorder known from Rain Man, as described by Leo Kanner, serious cognitive functional impairments are added, the transitions between both flow. Deciphering facial expressions and facial expressions for their emotional content, for example when corresponding photographs are presented, is a difficult or even unsolvable task for someone on the autistic spectrum.

There are estimates that 93 percent of all communication is non-verbal. Someone with autism might interpret this information to mean that only seven words out of a hundred spoken make sense. The interpretation that the mostly unconsciously used and difficult to decipher body language can be up to thirteen times more informative than the spoken or written word, completely contradicts his worldview.

Dr. Ami Klin from Yale University has just published a report that further differentiates our insight: Obviously, autistic people concentrate much more on the mouth and body than on the eyes when observing social situations.

Fifteen participants watched the film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", Which was selected for its emotional intensity. with the researchers using eye movement measurement (Eye tracking) recorded the periods of time in which the eyes focused on the mouth, eyes, body and objects.

The higher the social competence of the participants (who all had a normal IQ), the longer they focused on the mouths of the protagonists. Under normal conditions, however, the opposite applies: Those who concentrate on the eyes for longer are more socially skilled. This seems to indicate that people with autism not only look much less at eyes than previously thought, but also that they actually don't find any information there. The strong focus on the mouth may be a way to compensate for neglecting the non-verbal information, the language of the eyes.

According to Klin, this study is the first experimental measurement method to predict social competence to a certain extent and, at least as importantly, a possibility for the early detection of autism in small children.

Rehabilitation through software?

Programmers and computer scientists know that it is much harder to teach a computer certain simple actions than it is to teach a child. According to the Russian researcher Boris Galitsky, an autistic child can be compared to a computer. From an everyday perspective it is very difficult to make something seemingly fundamental to him. The solution: A new technology (what else) that "programs" autistic children in such a way that they can understand how other people think. According to the thesis, there are a number of standard axioms for mental attributes that are genetically designed, but in their own way in autistic children. The most important terms are therefore intention (subsumes goals and desires), knowledge and belief. The fact that there is a pronounced preference for logic and logical formulas in the (less pronounced) autistic spectrum has been taken advantage of: Galitsky first presented the new method, called Computational Autism, in June at the International Conference on Development and Learning in Cambridge.

Peter is informed that Nina knows something. Galitsky expresses this as follows: "knows (Nina, something)" These logical units are then incorporated into compound formulas in order to arrive at more complex expressions such as "inform", "deceive", "explain" and "forgive" within the formulas. In this technique, certain rules are played through over and over again with different variables in a system of axioms.

Autistic children, for example, cannot lie, assert something that is not quite right, they cannot pretend. However, if they have rules at hand, not unlike those programmed into a chatbot, which they can generalize as needed they interact as if they were deceiving the other person. Strictly speaking, they then pretend that they are deceiving their counterparts. (Michaela Simon)

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