April 3, 2024

Black Teen Creates AI Chatbot To Combat Mental Health Challenges

AI Chatbot

A 14-year-old passionate about technology, Sophie has developed an innovative AI chatbot focused on mental health.

Mental Health meets AI

Unlike the usual narratives surrounding AI, such as privacy invasion and fake news, Sophie’s AI chatbot offers hope to users.

Her mother, Samantha, in a TikTok video, revealed how Sophie’s creation counters negative self-talk and mental health issues with positive affirmations and exercises in self-awareness and boundary setting.

This chatbot’s introduction goes, “Humans often struggle on focusing on the present … and comparing each other to other people who we think are better, when really we should focus on ourselves and think about how great we are.” 

Black youths are at a higher risk for depression, anxiety, and other mental health struggles than their non-Black peers.

The CDC also reported that suicide is increasing at a faster rate for Black youths than it is for any other racial or ethnic group (36.6%).

Meet 14-Year-Old Sophie

Sophie’s mother stated on TikTok that her journey in tech began at the age of six, sparked by her dream of building autonomous vehicles.

Her mother supported this interest by enrolling her in Black Girls Code, a vital resource offering exposure to new technologies. There, Sophie explored robotics and software engineering. 

Later, her participation in the Amazon Hardware Embedded AI Design program (Ahead) was a stepping stone in developing the skills needed to create her chatbot.

In her caption of TikTok, Samantha wrote that she hopes Sophie’s brilliance and the AI chatbot she created to help her with “negative self-talk” will stand as a reminder of the importance of “investing” in girls and those in marginalized communities.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.