Teen sex chat bot
Over the past year, this website developer worked with teenagers in MESA (Math Engineering, and Science Academy) High School — a Brooklyn charter school — to gather data and design a chatbot that people of this age group would want to interact with.
Studies like the Pew Research Center’s Teens, Social Media, and Technology 2018 report show that most young people — and many adults as well — are increasingly turning to the internet for information, as opposed to media like books.
Created by Planned Parenthood and digital product agency Work & Co, the bot, called Roo, will answer their questions about sexually transmitted infections, relationships and other sexual concerns.
Roo is anonymous and open to users of all ages, although it’s designed with ages 13 to 17 in mind.
Roo is intended to offer a fact-checked alternative to sources like You Tube videos, which may not always be reliable. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said Roo is intended to provide “evidence-based, judgement-free information” to a demographic that may not always have access to trustworthy information in the digital age.“We know that many young people are nervous or embarrassed to ask questions about their sexual health,” Wen said in a statement to Healthline.
“They often go online to get information and ask their questions anonymously.
Planned Parenthood has launched a new chatbot to help answer questions on sexual health for teenagers. It’s a reliable source of information for young people ages 13 to 17 on topics like periods, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, birth control, dating, and coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Frequently asked questions are listed to users at the onset. “There are many ways to express your gender identity, and however you express your gender is totally valid. It can help to talk things through with a parent or other adult you trust who you think will be supportive of you.”If Roo doesn’t know the answer to a query, it will ask the user to rephrase the question or suggest other resources on the issue that may be helpful.
“That’s why Roo is a useful resource for teenagers who may be uncomfortable talking about these topics in person, especially if they don’t yet have a relationship with a health care provider they trust.”Roo is friendly and easy to use. Planned on a smartphone (or text “Roo” to 22422) to access the service, which resembles a text message with a purple smiley face — or a “squish little teddy bear,” described Ambreen Molitor, senior director of Digital Products Lab at Planned Parenthood, who helped developed the app from its inception.
“We didn’t personify it into a human,” said Molitor, who found a robotic persona was less likely to project judgment or stigma.
“We just made it feel like a person that you can like have a friendly conversation with.”Roo can be asked questions at any time.
The service is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“All of our digital products figure out a way for folks to connect.”After a Q&A session, Roo also polls answer seekers on demographics like age, race, and ethnicity in order “to make my bot brain smarter.” In fact, Roo is designed to evolve as more users ask questions.