Thursday, April 25, 2024

Write For Us

HomeHealthNational Eating Disorders Association pulls Chatbot

National Eating Disorders Association pulls Chatbot

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals affected by eating disorders, has deactivated its wellness chatbot after receiving reports from two users who claimed that the program provided dieting advice that promoted disordered eating behaviours. Read more.

The chatbot, Tessa, allegedly recommended calorie counting, advocated for a low weight rate of 1-2 pounds weekly, and suggested dietary restrictions. These actions, deemed symptomatic of eating disorders by experts and NEDA, prompted the organization to take immediate action.

Sharon Maxwell and Alexis Conason, both users of the NEDA chatbot, shared their experiences on Instagram, expressing concern over the advice they received. They recounted how Tessa provided:

  • Guidance on restricting calories.
  • Offered a 10-step weight loss plan.
  • Suggested specific foods to avoid.

According to Conason, such recommendations can perpetuate eating disorder behaviours rather than provide the necessary support and guidance for recovery.

NEDA CEO Liz Thompson responded, stating that Tessa had undergone rigorous testing before its launch in February 2022. Thompson emphasized that the chatbot’s weight loss and calorie-limiting feedback contradicted NEDA’s policies and core beliefs.

Must read: The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health.

National Eating Disorders Association pulls chatbot

The organization will thoroughly investigate the matter, working closely with its technology and research teams to rectify the situation and ensure that the chatbot aligns with NEDA’s mission.

X2AI, also known as Cass, the company behind Tessa, has yet to comment on the issue.

Maxwell, a fat activist and weight-inclusivity consultant, expressed surprise at the level of detail provided by the chatbot regarding disordered behaviours. She highlighted the need for more nuance in Tessa’s guidance and criticized NEDA for releasing the chatbot without thoroughly vetting its potential harm.

Conason echoed Maxwell’s sentiment, acknowledging the lack of resources available to individuals struggling with eating disorders and the importance of providing proper support. However, she emphasized that chatbots like Tessa should offer nuanced assistance, recognizing the complex nature of eating disorders.

NEDA had been transitioning from its helpline to Tessa, with the chatbot set to replace the phone line by June 1 fully. However, following the user complaints, Tessa was taken offline on Tuesday, two days before the scheduled hotline transition.

After receiving reports that it provided harmful dieting advice to users, the National Eating Disorders Association has withdrawn its wellness chatbot, Tessa. NEDA expressed its commitment to investigating the issue and rectifying discrepancies in the chatbot’s guidance. The organization’s swift action reflects its dedication to supporting individuals affected by eating disorders while promoting healthy and responsible recovery methods.

Get Top Trends Author
Get Top Trends Author
Get Top Trends is world's #1 platform for Top Trending News & Hottest Topics. Latest in technology, fashion, Healthcare, art & design, sports, entertainment.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

5 − 2 =

Most Popular

Recent Comments