Can chatbots replace AOD counsellors?
Sep 2, 2021
An article has been published in the International Journal of Drug Policy titled “Enacting ‘more-then-human’ care: Clients’ and counsellors’ views on the multiple affordances of chatbots in alcohol and other drug counselling.” The article describes a research project that included interviews with clinicians and clients about their views on the usefulness of chatbots - artificial intelligence-driven computer programs that simulate human conversation. As this technology rapidly improves, the authors sought to understand whether chatbots had a role to play in online counselling services. Both clients and clinicians expressed concerns that chatbots might lack the human connection and empathy so important to counselling interventions. However the clients and clinicians did agree that chatbots could have a role to play in narrowly defined tasks such as screening, triage and referral.