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Can An AI Provide Effective Therapy?




In this photo illustration a virtual friend is seen on the screen of an iPhone on  April 30, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia.
In this photo illustration a virtual friend is seen on the screen of an iPhone on April 30, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia.
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

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Most mental health experts agree that cheaper and more easily available care would be a positive for patients - but what about if that care is provided via AI? 

According to reporting in the New York Times, the chatbox app Woebot is attempting to simulate conversations with a therapist, mimicking real conversation and identifying and addressing problematic patterns in a patients’ narrative. Can it be an effective tool? Can AI ever replace therapy, or does therapy by its nature need to be a two-human process? 

Guest: 

Jess Wright, M.D., a psychiatrist who studies digital forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); he is the director of the University of Louisville Depression Center