Alphabet X Lab’s AI can detect depression from brain waves

Talha Ikram Written by Talha Ikram · 52 sec read>

Alphabet’s X Lab has announced, in a blog post, an AI that uses Electroencephalography (EEG) brain waves to detect depression among various individuals. Dubbed the “Project Amber”, it is the hard work of a team comprising of neuroscientists, hardware and software engineers, machine learning researchers, and med-tech product experts over 3 years.

They have made their technology and their research public so that the health sector can use their technology and build on it to make newer devices that beat the barriers in health-tech.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 322 million people suffer from depression around the globe. That is around 5% of the whole population of the Earth and today’s methods of diagnosing such mental health diseases consist mostly of consultations with therapists or surveys.

The X Lab team has designed a few game-like tasks that people have to do while their brain activity is being measured using EEG. Using this they check how someone’s brain reacts to the reward system. People with depression tend to have a subdued response to the rewards given by the game.


The project intends to make EEG data easier to collect and interpret while increasing the understanding of the world about this technology and its uses. They have made prototypes of bioamplifiers to make the process of extracting EEG waves easier combined with their open-source toolkit, it can do wonders for the medical world.

Their research paper is also available here.

Image Source: Medicover Hospitals, X