Can chatbots bridge the gulf between the needs of individuals with mental disorders and available mental healthcare services? Dr. Şerife Tekin, associate professor of philosophy in SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities, will explore the idea on Wednesday, March 20, as part of a series of events hosted by the Niagara University Ostapenko Center for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare. The lecture will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the fourth floor amphitheatre of Glynn Hall on the NU campus.

While advances in applications of artificial intelligence and the use of data analytics technology in biomedicine have created some optimism about the use of psychotherapy chatbots in light of these apps' low cost, wide accessibility through cell phones, and availability in different languages, there are epistemic and ethical concerns about their use as medical tools. In her presentation, “Artificial Intelligence, Chatbot Therapists, and the Future of Psychiatry,” Dr. Tekin will address these concerns and situate this technology in the broader framework of mental health research and care.

Other presentations this spring include a panel discussion about the work of Horizon Health Services, Inc., on Wednesday, April 10, and “The Forever Wars,” by Dr. John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy from the University of California Riverside, on Monday, April 15.

Made possible by the generous gift of Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko, the Ostapenko Center for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare is dedicated to investigating the various ethical issues related to healthcare and medicine facing our local and global communities.