AI-based psychotherapy chatbots: A multi-part series

How can artificial intelligence techniques help improve emotional wellness and mental health? One obvious thing to do is take existing approaches to improving mental health — psychotherapy in particular — and move them online in chatbot form. Woebot and X2AI are doing exactly that. Are they likely to succeed? What are some challenges? I cover that here, after first discussing the evidence about the effectiveness of offline talk therapy backed by human intelligence (i.e., a human therapist!)

As I delved into this topic I realized that it deserved more than a cursory post. So I’ve decided to write a series of posts. The scientific research in this space is tremendously vast. There have already been numerous attempts to use technology combined with principles of psychotherapy to improve mental health.

Subject to change, here are the posts I have planned for this series.

Part 1: The effectiveness of talk therapy

Part 2: Electronic psychotherapy

Part 3: The new therapybots, AI-enabled!

Part 4: Where do we go from here?