New chatbots will help people accept deathFor the foreseeable future, and probably forever until the heat death of the universe, this will always be true: Everyone dies.
According to the researchers' paper, the chatbot is explicitly meant to replicate conversing with a "palliative care coach" that answers questions about things like preparing a will and funeral preparations.
In pro-spiritual mode, the bot "takes active interest in the user's spirituality, tailors dialogue to the user's religious orientation, demonstrates knowledge of the user's religious beliefs and orientation, and acts supportive," according to the paper.
While the sample size of an experiment with older adults using the chatbot was quite small (44 people, half of whom had a chronic health condition), their feedback is pretty interesting.
"People tend to be pretty opinionated about that stuff, especially when they get to be around my age."The researchers have already added some interactive spiritual features to the chatbot, such as helping to manage activities like praying and fasting, and "a clinical trial is underway."Many people don't have other folks in their lives whom they trust completely and can talk to comfortably about their thoughts on death, as they're dying.
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