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Chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT can hold fun conversations across many topics. But when it comes to providing people with accurate health information, they need help from humans.

As tech enthusiasts who research and develop AI-driven chatbots in health care, we are optimistic about the role these agents will play in providing consumer-centered health information. But they must be developed with specific uses in mind and be built with precautions to safeguard their users.


When we asked ChatGPT in January 2023 about whether children under the age of 12 should get vaccinated for Covid-19 vaccines, the response was “no.” It also suggested that an older person should rest up to address his Covid-19 infection, but did not know Paxlovid was the recommended therapy. Such guidance may have been true when the algorithm was first trained, based on accepted knowledge, but it hadn’t been updated.

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