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Article summary:

1. Researchers at the University of Washington and Stanford University have developed an AI agent called HAILEY to assist peer supporters in online mental health support conversations. HAILEY provides just-in-time feedback on how to increase the empathic quality of responses to support seekers in text-based chat.

2. Unlike a general-purpose chatbot, HAILEY is a human-AI collaboration agent that harnesses the power of large language models specifically to assist users in crafting more empathic responses. The system offers users actionable feedback in the form of onscreen prompts suggesting the insertion of empathic sentences or the replacement of low-empathy sentences with more empathic options.

3. In a controlled study involving 300 peer supporters who participate in TalkLife, an online peer-to-peer mental health support platform, researchers found that human-AI collaboration yielded responses containing 20% higher levels of empathy compared to their human-only generated counterparts. More than 60% reported finding HAILEY's suggestions helpful and/or actionable, and 77% would like to have such a feedback tool available on the real-world platform.

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