Rise of the Machines: Mental Health and Tech

Can AI become a part of our mental health journeys? Recently, we’ve seen rapid development in this space, with the creation of apps, an increase of use in Virtual Reality for exposure therapy and even virtual therapists. How do we leverage these powerful technologies and keep the human in mental health care?

“You could say that AI never tires, it is always available, it has encyclopedic knowledge of all clinical practice and all clinical conditions, and it remembers everything. But… there’s something about interacting with a human that expresses empathy, shows that they understand your situation and can be honestly critical… those are powerful things too. Is there a middle ground here?” – Dr. Alber “Skip” Rizzo

Our hosts sit down with experts and discuss how tech and AI are being applied to the mental health space and where they see mental health technology going in the future.

Meet the Experts:

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD conducts research on the design, development and evaluation of virtual reality (VR) systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment rehabilitation and resilience. To read more, click here:

Lauren J. Hoffman, PsyD is a New York City-based licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety disorders, OCD, and related life challenges. Along with Dr. Anne Marie Albano and the NYP Youth Anxiety Center at CUCARD, she co-developed and researched a virtual reality program for young adults with social anxiety. To read more, click here:

​J. John Hamm, MD PhD is the Director of Research and Director of Molecular Imaging and the Neuropathology Division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is trained in Psychiatry and Internal Medicine and has a Doctorate in Neurochemistry. To read more, click here:

⁠Coming Back Better, a 10-episode podcast series, is brought to you by Psych Hub and HCA Healthcare in collaboration with Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry. Coming Back Better is a Psych Hub Podcast and is for educational purposes only. Visit to dig deeper and access the world’s most comprehensive platform for behavioral health education.

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