Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling systems that augment and collaborate with humans to perform simple, mechanistic tasks such as scheduling meetings and grammar-checking text. However, such human–AI collaboration poses challenges for more complex tasks, such as carrying out empathic conversations, due to the difficulties that AI systems face in navigating complex human emotions and the open-ended nature of these tasks. Here we focus on peer-to-peer mental health support, a setting in which empathy is critical for success, and examine how AI can collaborate with humans to facilitate peer empathy during textual, online supportive conversations.
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