This New ChatBot Might Be the Key to Curing Eating Disorders

Chatbots were some of the first examples of artificial intelligence that were capable of passing the Turing Test, and they are used in a wide range of contexts in this modern day and age as well. A new study conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine that used a chatbot found that it had the potential to help women that might be going through eating disorders and the like.

Programs have often been used to aid people that were suffering from poor mental health, but the implementation of this software was often considered to be a little too costly. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that a pre-existing program called StudentBodies was rendered in the form of a chatbot and it helped quite a few people avoid suffering from eating disorders in the first place.

The women that were involved in this study did not already have eating disorders, but they had various factors that made them liable to suffer from one in the future. The chatbot had eight various conversational topics that it could use, all of which were related to various eating disorder related subjects and the like. A control group of women were put on a waitlist before they could talk to an actual specialist that knew about such types of disorders.

A survey was conducted after this went on for three and six months, and all of the women talking to the chatbot indicated a much higher level of positive regarding their weight and physical appearance with all things having been considered and taken into account. Chatbots can be immensely useful in the world of health care, but there hasn’t been enough research conducted about them to make it clear what their advantages could be so a lot more funding needs to be given to projects like this one.

Illustration: FreePik / Source: TV.
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