“But can chatbots understand sex?” Attitudes towards artificial intelligence chatbots amongst sexual and reproductive health professionals: An exploratory mixed-methods study

Tom Nadarzynski, Alexandria Lunt, Nicky Knights, Jake Bayley and Carrie Llewellyn 2023. “But can chatbots understand sex?” Attitudes towards artificial intelligence chatbots amongst sexual and reproductive health professionals: An exploratory mixed-methods study. International Journal of STD & AIDS. 34 (11), pp. 809-816. https://doi.org/10.1177/09564624231180777

Title“But can chatbots understand sex?” Attitudes towards artificial intelligence chatbots amongst sexual and reproductive health professionals: An exploratory mixed-methods study
TypeJournal article
AuthorsTom Nadarzynski, Alexandria Lunt, Nicky Knights, Jake Bayley and Carrie Llewellyn
Abstract

Background
Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled chatbots can offer anonymous education about sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Understanding chatbot acceptability and feasibility allows the identification of barriers to the design and implementation.
Methods
In 2020, we conducted an online survey and qualitative interviews with SRH professionals recruited online to explore the views on AI, automation and chatbots. Qualitative data were analysed thematically.
Results
Amongst 150 respondents (48% specialist doctor/consultant), only 22% perceived chatbots as effective and 24% saw them as ineffective for SRH advice [Mean = 2.91, SD = 0.98, range: 1–5]. Overall, there were mixed attitudes towards SRH chatbots [Mean = 4.03, SD = 0.87, range: 1–7]. Chatbots were most acceptable for appointment booking, general sexual health advice and signposting, but not acceptable for safeguarding, virtual diagnosis, and emotional support. Three themes were identified: “Moving towards a ‘digital’ age’“, “AI improving access and service efficacy”, and “Hesitancy towards AI”.
Conclusions
Half of SRH professionals were hesitant about the use of chatbots in SRH services, attributed to concerns about patient safety, and lack of familiarity with this technology. Future studies should explore the role of AI chatbots as supplementary tools for SRH promotion. Chatbot designers need to address the concerns of health professionals to increase acceptability and engagement with AI-enabled services.

JournalInternational Journal of STD & AIDS
Journal citation34 (11), pp. 809-816
ISSN0956-4624
1758-1052
Year2023
PublisherSage
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/09564624231180777
PubMed ID37269292
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1177/09564624231180777
Publication dates
Published online03 Jun 2023

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