Amid user panic regarding future changes to the popular app's feed system, Instagram has announced…
Instagram may be revealing more about you than you intend to. Researchers from Harvard and the University of Vermont have found a way to analyze pictures for the user’s current state of mind. These scientists used the photos’ attributes–brightness, color, saturation etc–to identify if the user is suffering from depression, at a better rate than an average physician, reports CNNMoney.com.
The computer identified 70 per cent of the instances of depression. As it turns out, pictures with decreased brightness, decreased saturation and increased hue indicated depression.
While Valencia turned out to be most-used filter with users who were not depressed, supposedly depressed users leaned more towards Inkwell. For the uninitiated, Valencia lightens photos and Inkwell converts them to black and white.
This development can actually prove to be a huge leap in the realm of mental health.
“It’s all a good thing,” Michael Thase, the director of the Mood and Anxiety Program at the University of Pennsylvania, told CNNMoney. “It’s only not a good thing when the information would be sold to somebody who might make a buck from interfacing with depressed people.”
Thase went on to add that mental-health researchers can actually rely on feedback from social media, in the near future–a user who gave consent would have their photos scanned for signs of potential mental illnesses.
“Did you know your choice of hues and colors go along with people who are prone to depression. Would you like to know more?” Thase suggested as a possible private message that could be sent to users who appeared depressed.
The researchers analyzed about 13,000 photos by 166 Instagram users.
The computer learned to make predictions after comparing pictures of depressed users, with those who were not depressed.