Robot therapists need rules

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Professor Alena Buyx has looked into ethical questions raised by treating mental illness with AI. PIX/TUM

THE use of Artificial Intelligence in psychotherapy is not new as such. Back in the 1960s, the first chatbots created the illusion of a psychotherapy session. In reality, however, this was little more than a gimmick. With today’s advanced algorithms and higher computing power, much more is possible. “The algorithms behind these new applications have been trained with enormous data sets and can produce genuine therapeutic statements,” explains Alena Buyx, Professor of Ethics in Medicine and Health Technologies at TUM.