It’s been less than a year since G. A. Sharma was laid off from his job in India’s IT sector.
But the experience left Mr Sharma feeling angry and sometimes even depressed.
And he found it difficult to open up to his family.
But he did find some comfort in a chatting app called Wysa.
The chat robot, or chatbot, behaves like a counsellor, focusing on what users are feeling and how to respond to them.
So this is what the future of therapy looks like.
An interface where people can ask questions and this chatbot will answer.
So if I type in a question about, say, losing my job, the codes in the software process it and give you options.
I’d like to help but first could I do a quick check to see how this is affecting you? Option one – yes, sure; option two – maybe later.
The founders say the year-old chatbot has 200,000 clients, who are using this app for free.
The company behind the chatbot makes money from professional therapists and firms that use the app.
Artificial intelligence-based counselling is a new field and there isn’t a clear consensus on how effective it is.