What I had worried was realized. I am in the peril of losing the job, as well as most of my colleagues.
Google announced to have a limited launch of a new service, named "Google Psychiatrist." It is available experimentally in some states in the US now.
Google Psychiatrist: New solution to improve your mental health for free
This service equips a kind of Artificial Intelligence to play a role of a psychiatrist. When using it, you have only to input some symptoms you are suffering from and answer some questions. Open description form is also available, in which you can write your current status, such as "Since two weeks ago, I have had a sense of guiltiness. I feel unhappy and extremely tired. Perhaps the main reason is a conflict with my boyfriend."
Google Psychiatrist then analyzes the information obtained from you, referring numerous academic literature including case reports, and finally gives some candidates of clinical diagnoses. The result is basically based on DSM-5, published by American Psychiatric Association. Indeed, APA has been collaborating with Google in the development of Google Psychiatrist.
In addition, Google Psychiatrist proposes you some solutions to overcome the burden of your mental illness. It recommends some medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and self-help groups.
I am not sure how accurate the decision of Google psychiatrist is, as far as looking through the press releases. Google seems to be serious to make it work as a part of clinical psychiatry. The negotiation with FDA and some authorities in the US to get the permission of legalizing Google Psychiatrist as an alternative of real psychiatrists is now in progress.
A chief programmer of Google Psychiatrist team said at an interview that psychiatry was the first target to utilize Google's AI technology in the medical science, because there is a considerable variance in the quality of psychiatrists. It is an annoying comment. He also told that Google Psychiatrist would be much beneficial to developing countries because the shortage of qualified psychiatrists is quite serious in some regions in the Southeast Asia and Africa.
To be honest, I forecast such a situation in the past. However, it will be realized earlier than I expected. If this service is authorized and becomes common, many psychiatrists will lose their jobs. Some academic associations such as groups of psychoanalysts published an opposing comment against Google Psychiatrist, saying that the human mind is still too complex to interpret by a computer.
Google Psychiatrist should be banned: Statement by APSA
On the other hand, some health insurance companies are welcoming Google Psychiatrist. It is no doubt that they expect to reduce the expenditure for psychiatric care.
Psychiatric cost in the future
There is another discussion about it. Google is suspected to develop a tool for psychiatric testimony. It will equip CCD camera, and voice recorder, and some bio-metric devices including electroencephalography. Attached on Google Psychiatry, it can distinguish the person who is malingering from mentally disordered, according to some media. This awful tool, named as "Google Inspector" will be installed in the next year.
Google tell the truth: Amazing plan of revealing the lie
It means that, not only forensic psychiatrists, but also public prosecutors, will be fired in the near future.
Accidentally, the current issue of Nikkei Business describes AI in the future. I was impressed by the articles. Furthermore, the future is now. I have to seek another job opportunity than a psychiatrist, perhaps.