Chatbots, or conversational user interfaces, are digital services with which human users interacts through natural language.
The recent developments within artificial intelligence, coupled with the broad popular uptake of online services (e.g. Messenger, WhatsApp) and the availability of large conversational data sets to support machine learning, make chatbots a promising supplement to more labour intensive interventions within health and welfare services.
In Social Health Bots we will increase our understanding of the future potential and challenges associated with chatbots in the context of providing mental health support for young people (age 16-26).
The core idea of Social Health Bots is that online chatbots will lower the threshold for young people to ask for information and help concerning mental health issues and, thereby, strengthen their access to trustworthy informational support and also provide a gateway to more extensive support.
Social Health Bots involves researchers from SINTEF (human-centred design in the health sector), Oslo University Hospital (clinical mental patient research), University of Oslo (youth and mental health), and University of Agder (intelligent systems and eHealth). The project leader is Petter Bae Brandtzæg at SINTEF.
The project is funded by The Norwegian Research Council and HELSEVEL.