Brisbot provides counseling for troubled kids in Facebook Messenger

Published: December 5, 2016
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The chatbot is designed for kids who are reluctant to share their problems with other people. PHOTO: BRISBOT

The chatbot is designed for kids who are reluctant to share their problems with other people. PHOTO: BRISBOT

No matter what the problem is, talking to someone is always a good idea. However, there are some who are reluctant to do so or shy away from sharing their problems with others. Now, there’s a solution.

BRIS has designed a chatbot which provides advice to such kids and teenagers directly in Facebook Messenger.

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Brisbot works by providing answers to preloaded questions which users can choose from. The chatbot provides an array of questions with pre-programmed professional advice and a free-text feature to guide users to the right subject area.

The chatbot capitalises on the popularity of messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Kik amongst kids and the easiness that such kids feel when communicating through a chatbot.

“Children don’t communicate the way grown-ups do and some hesitate to use the BRIS helpline for support. We’ve developed Brisbot to give advice directly in Kik and Facebook Messenger, two popular messaging apps that many kids use all the time” reads a statement on BRIS website.

BRIS is a Swedish, non-profit children’s rights organisation which runs a national helpline for troubled children and teenagers. The organisation received much praise for creating emojis featuring bruises, cuts and self-harm wounds for victims of child abuse to communicate their experience.

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The chatbot maintains anonymity at all times and all questions and answers are pre-written which do not contain personal information.

It is however worth mentioning that Brisbot is in no way an alternative to human counseling and is designed to broaden the support. The chatbot is limited to general questions and answers.

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