HAI Weekly Seminar with Johannes Eichstaedt - Measuring Physical and Mental Health Using Social Media
Abstract: The content shared on social media is among the largest data sets on human behavior in history. I leverage this data to address questions in the psychological sciences. Specifically, I apply natural language processing and machine learning to characterize and measure psychological phenomena with a focus on mental and physical health. For depression, I will show that machine learning models applied to Facebook status histories can predict future depression as documented in the medical records of a sample of patients. For heart disease, the leading cause of death, I demonstrate how prediction models derived from geo-tagged Tweets can estimate county mortality rates better than gold-standard epidemiological models, and at the same time give us insight into the sociocultural context of heart disease. I will also present preliminary findings on my emerging project to measure the subjective well-being of large populations. Across these studies, I argue that AI-based approaches to social media can augment clinical practice, guide prevention, and inform public policy.