It has been debated for a long time, but with the blessing of major psychological associations, the developing of artificial intelligence, and automated speech (both to recognize to, and from), the government backed free automated therapist has opened her clinic. She has basically got all the knowledge there is about psychotherapy and the human mind, and can guide the patient through the same steps as a professional therapist. Everything the patient says gets calculated in a way to get the proper response, which she of course does as fast as any human.
The system is so advanced that in a blind test that involved 1,400 people no one could tell the difference between the automated therapist and a professional one after a 30 minute session. The therapist is not only prepared to handle basically all kind of questions, but can also tell if a person is lying in the way he talks, and can also ask the person to seek further help if necessary, and in what way.
To get in touch with your personal therapist, you just call the main number where she answers (you can choose if you want to talk to a woman or a man). Your therapist asks you how you are today and the session begins. Everything you say gets recorded so your therapist knows about you next time you call, and can then directly continue where you left off last time. All conversations are also anonymous recorded for the knowledge base of human behavior, for the therapist to develop.
Will this mean that traditional therapists should start looking for new jobs? Probably not. Humans do need humans, especially in times of need. Although the automated therapist has all the knowledge needed and the ability to adjust, she is not in three dimensions for real. In the future she might at least be in two dimensions since they are developing an animated version for a screen appearance.
Argument: Artificial intelligence will develop during year 2020-2030 and by then the computers are at the same level as the human brain. We can then communicate with automated people that understand what we say and can give a proper response. One way to use this could be for people who are in need of talking to someone, either as a friend or to guide in therapy.
Questions: Will it be possible to make a computer understand the human mind as a human does, or even better? What legal aspects would there be for a solution like the automated therapist? In what other way can artificial intelligence be used?