Chat Bot’s Diagnosis Triggers Mental Disorder in Patient

The National Association for Neda (NEDA) has blocked its Tessa chatbot after it was found to be giving harmful tips to users. The bot had recommended that users count calories, weigh themselves weekly, and even suggested where to buy a caliper for measuring fat, directly contradicting medical recommendations.

Sharon Maxwell, an activist in the fight against obesity and a consultant on excess weight, stated that the Tessa Council for a Safe Recovery of Food Behavior (RPP) was causing harm and leading to the development of food disorders.

According to data from NEDA, safe recovery involves a multi-step process that includes various treatments and therapies, not just counting calories. Earlier, an organization representative had reported that Tessa had been tested on 700 volunteers since November 2021, with over 50% of them giving the chatbot a utility rating of 100%.

However, after investigating the tips provided by the chatbot, NEDA confirmed that the current version of the Tessa chatbot, on which the Body Positive program was launched, could give harmful information unrelated to the program.

The Tessa robot was introduced to replace the psychological hotline of the chatbot, following the formation of a trade union by some employees to demand better working conditions. The NEDA hotline had been in existence for 20 years and had supported hundreds of thousands of people through phone, chat, and text messages. However, the hotline was reportedly understaffed, with just six employees receiving calls and messages from all American states. When the employees asked for better working conditions and the recruitment of new staff, their demands were ignored by the NEDA administration, leading to the formation of the trade union.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.