A recent Wired piece on the state of mental health chatbots speaks directly to Supportiv’s mission of providing human connection, assisted by AI.
Reporting for Wired, Grace Browne points out that as there are only 13 mental health providers per 100,000 people, globally, mental health solutions are receiving unprecedented demand – even when those solutions involve no actual human care and connection.
Enter, chatbots. The article illustrates how users overlook the flaws of AI chatbots due to the value of having somewhere to turn outside of a scheduled therapy appointment. But robots aren’t the only way to access sub-clinical mental healthcare, on-demand. Human options like Supportiv reduce the need for tradeoffs associated with AI-based services.
One tradeoff with chatbots? They are notorious for their inability to catch individuals experiencing crisis. Representatives of some chatbot companies contend that even humans make mistakes in identifying crisis. This is true, which is why Supportiv’s human-led chats use AI to help identify crisis, combining the best of human and AI processing power in such sensitive situations.
Aside from the flaws associated with chatbots, the advantages can appear shaky on closer examination. The article points to research on the comfort of confiding in a non-human. But the research seems to indicate that this comfort comes less from the inhumanity of the bot, than from the fact that a bot can’t judge.
That begs the question: What if you could talk to another human, while knowing that you would not be judged, because you’re 100% anonymous? Supportiv’s online peer support chats provide those conditions, without asking users to rely on a chatbot to achieve anonymity.
In light of Wired’s thoughts on chatbots, Supportiv is proud to bypass chatbots and human-assisted AI, in favor of AI-assisted human chats. Instead of offering a fraction of human capacity, relying on AI, Supportiv offers all that a human can provide, amplified by the power of AI.