I agree with the BBC article, a chatbot can never replace a clinician — but Vivibot is really up-front about this, and instead assumes a “coaching” style. It is even really clear that it can’t understand what I say, so I am not in doubt that there is a limit to how it can help.
After some initial questions to help figure out how to help me, Vivibot led me through a series of activities, and I was struck that whilst I was essentially filling in a series of questionnaires, because of the conversational context, and the sense that answering the questions was exclusively for my benefit, I felt totally engaged, and answered the questions with real thought and sincerity.
Chatting to Vivibot, has strengthened my conviction that chatbots add real value to a range of coaching situations, not least because they are completely non judgemental and available 24/7.
Grobot’s own coach-bot in training Andre has already been helping Kent University students to reflect on their studies — check it out at https://grobot.co.uk/#team_productivity.