The Download: using AI to access mental health services, and the natural gas debate

The news: An AI chatbot has helped increase the number of patients referred to mental health services through England's National Health Service (NHS), particularly among underrepresented groups who are less likely to seek help , according to a new study.

What happened: The new study from AI company Limbic looked at data from 129,400 people visiting websites to refer to 28 mental health services across England, half of whom were using the chatbot on their website and the other half did not. The number of referrals from services using the Limbic chatbot increased by 15% over the three-month study period, compared to a 6% increase in referrals for services that did not use it. Read the full story.

—Rhiannon Williams

We're having a bad debate over Biden's decision on liquefied natural gas

—Arvind P. Ravikumar is a research associate professor in the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Late last month, the Biden administration announced it was suspending applications for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits as it reevaluates the economic, environmental and climate impacts of the fuel.

LNG is produced by cooling natural gas to a liquid state, making it easier to store and ship to foreign markets. Natural gas itself has been a central but controversial part of the clean energy debate for decades. When burned, it emits about half as many greenhouse gases as coal. But it is mainly made up of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane leaks throughout the supply chain threaten to erode the benefits natural gas offers as a cleaner fuel.

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