From the Editor
Will people seek therapy with computers one day, getting care from programs built with Artificial Intelligence?
The authors of a new JAMA paper consider this in a short, clever piece, titled “Talking to Machines About Personal Mental Health Problems.”
In this two-part Reading of the Week series, we look at two papers, both published in JAMA. These Viewpoint pieces make interesting, provocative arguments.
This week, we look at conversational agents.
Next week, we ask: is CBT really the gold standard for psychotherapy?
Stanford University’s Adam S. Miner and his co-authors consider conversational agents – that is software programs that “use conversational artificial intelligence to interact with users through voice or text.” Could there be therapeutic value in such a program? What are the ethical challenges?
In this Reading, we review the paper, and consider the potential of conversational agents, with an eye on what’s currently available.