Research Horizons


School Violence Research Featured in Cincinnati Magazine

A pilot study at Cincinnati Children’s to assess risk of school violence using artificial intelligence (AI) is described in the Cincinnati Magazine Health Guide 2019. The study is led by Drew Barzman, MD, Director of the Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry Service, and Yizhao Ni, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Biomedical Informatics.

Combining the power of AI with qualitative data, the study fosters collaboration between Cincinnati Children’s and local schools. When teenage students exhibit concerning behavior, the school can refer them to participate in the study.

Researchers then interview the student and feed an annotated version into a natural language processing AI system. The system is designed to quickly analyze the student’s responses and determine their level of risk for school violence. This could help clinicians speed up their analysis of psychiatric assessments, ultimately moving young people with violent impulses into psychiatric care faster.

“The technology will improve the scalability of such assessments,” Barzman says in the article. “It will help teens stay in school by identifying ways to help them, and it will help parents and schools understand how to help students stay in school and avoid legal problems.”

More than 200 students have participated in the study so far, and researchers aim to test the system with 336 total subjects before it is ready for general use.

Read the full article in the Cincinnati Magazine Health Guide 2019.

See abstract of pilot study in Psychiatric Quarterly