Our team is composed of computer science psychology enthusiast – literally one of our members has finished his undergraduate education in psychology, one member is studying cognitive science, and one member is currently pursuing his undergraduate psychology degree. It was from this background that we decided to try and create a tool that would provide an alternative to counselling, especially in a world where mental health is increasingly important.

Often, psychiatrists don't have the time to dedicate their full resources to one individual at a time. We hope that our idea can help reduce that load on psychologists and flag those who desperately need help but may not get it in time.

What it does

Our system basically takes input from the user after asking a few questions. It then will run the answers through a machine learning algorithm, comparing it with tested cases of people who have depression. Based on the response, it will let the admin know that the individual communicating might potentially have depressive tendencies.

How we built it

We came up with a novel idea to use /r/depression reddit posts to train our machine learning model on cases of depression. To query the user, we used the microsoft chatbot. We also made a friendly, simple looking website to host the chatbot on.

Challenges we ran into

We underestimated the amount of time it would take to learn about new skills, and also how hard the task would be. We also weren't able to synthesize our project in the end.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are really proud of being able to develop the individual pieces of our project and pursue an idea that is not only unique, but also beneficial to society.

What we learned

We learned about using the difference API's offered to us, for example: Microsoft's Chatbot and Microsoft's cognitive services.

What's next for friendlybot

We definitely need to spend time synthesizing out project to create one user friendly design. However, if we can fully implement it, we believe it has great implications for the future.

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