What possibilities await chatbots in mental health?
Chatbots geared towards ‘listening’ or ‘helping’ must be sensitive to combinations of medication and alcohol.
Moreover, programs could learn more natural segues from therapists.
Finally, the biggest challenge is the absence of physical or visual cues.
In a video session, as long as a client and therapist see each other, we can communicate multiple messages through non-verbal cues, especially the tone of voice.
In texting mode, it’s easier to fake responses. Think of how often a week (or a day!) you type “LOL” or “Hahaha” when you’re not even smiling!
Since that level of communication is not possible with the chatbots available now, this could be a job for elevated upgrades of humanoid robots.
Chatbots in mental health services have the advantage of not forcing a confused or anxious person to speak with a human (therapist).
These therapists could ask questions in varying tones, making them more self-conscious.
So there are definite advantages to using chatbots in mental health services.
Regardless, at the moment, they are not recommended for anything beyond brain-storming, emotional dumping, or a means of preparing a conversation.