For months Lovkesh Joshi was quietly terrified of losing his job as a manager at a top Indian tech services company. Clients were cutting their budgets, prompting his bosses to fire dozens of colleagues. His manager told him not to worry, but it was hard not to when experts were predicting that millions of the country’s IT workers would be eliminated in the coming years. “My head was full of ‘yaar, kya honewalla hai?,’” says Joshi, using a Hindi expression that means “what’s going to happen?”
Joshi didn’t want to burden his wife or friends so he turned to a chatbot therapist called Wysa. Powered by artificial intelligence, the app promises to be “loyal, supportive and very private,” and encourages users to divulge their feelings about a recent major event or big change in their lives. “I could open up and talk,” says the 41-year-old father of two school-age children, who says his conversations with the bot …
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