By Sy Mukherjee and Clifton Leaf
October 18, 2017

Hey there, readers! This is Sy.

Woebot Labs is on a mission to make mental health talk therapy accessible online. Its platform offers an AI-fueled chatbot—available via Facebook Messenger—as a digital therapist that’s available around the clock. Designed by Stanford University experts, Woebot can chat with users about how they’re feeling and present strategies for coping with stress and depression. And now, it has the support of Andrew Ng, a machine learning and AI pioneer who is now joining Woebot’s board of directors as its chairman.

“If you look at the societal need, as well as the ability of AI to help, I think that digital mental-health care checks all the boxes,” Ng tells MIT Technology Review. “If we can take a little bit of the insight and empathy [of a real therapist] and deliver that, at scale, in a chatbot, we could help millions of people.”

Ng was previously the chief scientist at Baidu and helped found Google’s Brain initiative.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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