Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly popular as more applications are found and new technology is introduced widely. There are so many different ways that AI could change our society, but one area is often overlooked: psychedelic research.
Psychedelic research has grown substantially in the past few years, but there are still some barriers that scientists haven’t been able to break through. From unanswered questions about chemical processes to creating and integrating new psychedelic therapies, many more advancements are needed in the field of mind-altering substances.
Could AI have the potential to unlock discoveries about psychedelics and their biological interactions?
Artificial Intelligence and Research
Whether you’re for or against AI, it’s undeniable that it will have a place in the future. Countless uses for AI are being recognized, with some researchers hoping it will become an even more powerful tool for analyzing and detecting biological processes and their many implications.
AI is used in medical situations, engineering circles, and much more. Not only is AI providing support for professionals, but it’s also saving lives. From detecting seizures to providing diagnostic information, the ability to identify concerns and analyze data quickly makes artificial intelligence a valuable asset.
While AI is becoming more popularized in many different areas of society, it’s likely just the tip of the iceberg. More and more applications for AI are being discovered daily, but one of the most pertinent for the science field is research.
By using AI in research, scientists can devote more time to study design, sharing and discussing results, and finding answers in the data output provided. By theorizing and collaborating, scientists can focus on the areas not yet automated proficiently, allowing technology to collect and distribute data.
Whether due to a lack of funding, societal biases, or a combination of both, psychedelic research is not a priority in the way that many scientists believe it should be. From navigating legislature to getting approval for human studies, modern scientists have a variety of hurdles. However, it’s possible that AI could unlock a new era of psychedelic advancements.
Psychedelics and AI have one thing in common: we don’t yet know their full potential. Only by continuing to research and learn more about these topics can we implement them into our society in widely beneficial ways – for psychedelics, AI could be the missing piece.
How can we quantify the effects of psychedelics on the brain, taking into account the emotional, biological, and chemical processes occurring during a trip? How can we quickly usher psychedelic research forward to make up for the lack of research due to controversy? AI could hold the answers to these questions.
Darcy Jimenez believes AI is an essential piece in the game of “catch-up” that the psychedelic field needs to play. While other pharmaceutical options have been studied extensively for decades and have massive funding, the stereotype and biases surrounding psychedelics have significantly held up important research.
In order for psychedelic research to be furthered at a greater speed, researchers must implement artificial intelligence. Instead of spending years analyzing data, scientists can turn that responsibility over to tech and focus on the processes not yet automated.
Are you ready for an example of how modern scientists are integrating AI into their studies?
April19 Discovery is using AI to identify revolutionary psychedelic compounds. Not only are these compounds relatively unresearched, but the technology is specifically identifying compounds with the most clinical benefit and the least adverse effects. Because of the power of AI, novel compounds are entering the discussion for the first time. Current theories suggest this tool will play a role in creating therapies that treat depression, pain, anxiety, and more.
Some studies are using AI to trace the effects of psychedelics on various parts of the brain. Not only does this provide more in-depth comprehension of neuroscience, but it also lends itself to developing new therapies. As scientists understand more and more about the interactions of psychedelics within the brain, novel treatments can be developed that have significant benefits.
Personal accounts of trip experiences are undoubtedly an important part of psychedelic research. How scientists “decode” those experiences is dependent on the specific study.
At McGill University, researchers are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to process trip accounts. By utilizing natural language processing, scientists are learning more from trip reports and the experiences individuals have. The researchers in this study are hopeful it will yield important information about the effects of psychedelics and the mental states they can induce.
One benefit of natural language processing is that individuals don’t have to take the drug in a research setting. Instead, they can give real-life accounts of their experiences in social settings. This is unlocking a whole new realm of research, going beyond the lab, and bringing in a new wave of realism.
By pairing descriptive words with biological and neurological processes, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of the effects of psychedelics. While many people are aware of the experiences psychedelics can facilitate, there’s still much more to learn about the chemicals associated with those experiences.
The Future of Mental Health Treatment
Mental health treatment is continually evolving as discoveries are made. One of the biggest barriers that currently exists is time. Scientists simply do not have enough time to make advancements at the speed we need. AI could solve this.
Because of the time constraints AI solves, more and more treatments can be made quicker than ever. Exploring the many possibilities of AI is likely to inspire new mental health treatments that are more effective and efficient than the present options. Utilizing artificial intelligence to intentionally create therapies with minimal negative side effects could significantly improve the patient experience.
It’s impossible to comprehend the benefits AI will provide in the future. As time progresses, it’s likely that this technology will play a large role in the wider adoption of psychedelics into modern mental health practices.
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