Fired techies seek succour in Chatbot for counselling

After being knocked out by the introduction of automation, many IT workers are looking for online therapy services like Wysa or Yourdost for lifeline.

Lovkesh Joshi who was working as a manager at an IT company was extremely fearful that he will lose his job. The reason was clients were cutting down on their financial plans leading to dozens of colleagues already fired. Though his manager told him not to be concerned about losing his job, back in his mind he was aware of the experts who were forecasting that millions of Indian IT jobs will be lost due to automation in various departments.

Lovkesh thought that if he discusses it with his wife or close friends, it will be a burden for them. So he came up with an idea to chat with an online therapist chatbot called 'Wysa'. This app which is driven by Artificial Intelligence came to be trustworthy, helpful and private, and also it encouraged the users to open up and talk freely about any major happenings or big changes in their lives.

The 41-year-old father of two said he was very comfortable and felt at ease when having conversation with the bot. It felt like the bot was patient and understanding, he said.

After learning about the benefits of chatbot, thousands of Indians have taken to this online therapy service. Employees who are clinging to their prominent jobs and getting huge salaries are losing out to introduction to automation, which is a shift away from the term legacy contracts and curbs on US work visas. In the next three to four years almost half of the 4 million people working in IT services in India will be irrelevant, according to consultant firm McKinsey.

Faced with disapproval, many Indians tend to hide their inner suffering and many of them are now looking for online counselling startups, where most of them use human therapists. The online mental health platforms are more powerful, robust and provide real-time solutions to queries.

The founders of the popular online counselling startup called 'Yourdost' had also suffered their own career down side and went through enormous stress. Despite graduating from the top engineering colleges and topping in every course, they couldn't find the right job and were rejected by many big companies such as Yahoo and Adobe.

There are numerous victims of job cuts who have turned to online counselling courses. Moreover, job loss in the male dominated industry is not merely an economic defeat but a status loss too, according to psychologists.

During the counselling session, many of them break down and students start weeping and blame themselves for choosing engineering as a career path. A woman from an IT firm who lost her job recently resorted to faking her office routine to her parents, so that they wouldn't find out the truth.

The chatbot uses the computational natural language processing to understand the human emotions and conversations, then replies back with empathetic solutions prepared by the professional counsellors. This bot listens carefully and with kindness, without judgement and provides them with the best solutions.

Wysa's founders conducted a survey last month of the chatbot service and they found that the chats related to job losses have become the second most popular topic among the users.

Related topics : Artificial intelligence