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AI's loneliness crisis

Loneliness in the U.S., which spiked during the isolation of COVID, remains a public health "crisis" — and now the advent of ubiquitous AI-driven chatbots could make actual human contact even scarcer.

Why it matters: In the long haul, experts worry that AI might further cocoon people from the relationships and conversations they need. But in the short term, AI-powered companions, pets and mental health support services are already being drafted to fight the loneliness epidemic.

The big picture: There aren’t enough therapists, counselors and care providers in the United States to support every lonely person, while AI-based services can be scaled to poorly served regions and offered 24/7.


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