"For instance, effective psychedelic treatments for PTSD tend to include multiple followups over a long period, whereas narcosynthesis attempted what L. Ron Hubbard — who was, himself, a proponent of a modified form of narcosynthesis — once called “the one-shot clear.”

Today, AI therapy is poised to become the narcosynthesis of the 2020s — a supposedly faster and cheaper replacement for “real” therapy. Chatbots based on GPT-4 are already being proposed as a new short cut to healing."

These arguments against one-shot treatments are arguments for AI therapy. No one is proposing that you'll just talk to a chatbot for half an hour (and no one does that - whether it's today's GPT-4 bot or AI Dungeon 2 or Replika or Xiaoice or ELIZA back in the mists of time, pretty much all uses of chatbots for therapy-esque purposes reports that many users will spend a *huge* amount of time on them). All proposed uses, like your SciAm link, assume that users will be talking to the therapy bots a huge amount indefinitely - and that's why they work, because a bot can talk to you for hours a day anywhere anytime forever for a few bucks of electricity a month (and rapidly decreasing plus rapidly getting better), while a trained psychotherapist would cost a fortune and then burn out and have to be replaced by a worse & more expensive therapist.

Expand full comment
RemovedOct 11·edited Oct 11
Comment removed
Expand full comment