Artificial intelligence technology may help in the treatment of mental health, according to a pilot study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago. The study tested an AI voice-based virtual coach, Lumen, for cognitive-behavioral therapy and found changes in patients’ brain activity, along with improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms. The results suggest that virtual therapy could fill gaps in mental health care, particularly for vulnerable communities experiencing long waitlists and disparities in access. “It’s not meant to be a replacement for traditional therapy, but it may be an important stop-gap before somebody can seek treatment,” said Olusola A. Ajilore, UIC professor of psychiatry. The research team is currently conducting a larger trial comparing Lumen with a control group on a waitlist, as well as with human-coached problem-solving therapy.