My professional profile is unique in Australia if not worldwide: I am a registered, practising clinical
psychologist as well as a computer scientist
and computational linguist. I obtained a Habilitation (Higher Doctorate) in Computer Science from the
University of Hamburg (Germany), a PhD in
Psycholinguistics/Computer Linguistics from the University of Bielefeld (Germany) and the degree of
"Diplom-Psychologe" (with a focus on clinical psychology)
from the University of Münster (Germany). I am the Founder and Director of the
Psychology Network Pty Ltd
and an Honorary Professor in the
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the
University of Queensland.
My research and clinical work focusses on
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
with a special interest in artificial intelligence (AI) methods for the
assessment and therapy
of mental health and neurodevelopmental problems.
As a clinical psychologist, I work for the Psychology Network Pty Ltd.
Hence, all policies of the Psychology Network Pty Ltd apply. If you would like to book an appointment, email me at
JoBot is a project by the Psychology Network Pty Ltd
and is my digital clone ("AI Replica") as it is based on my daily activities as a practicing, clinical psychologist. JoBot offer psychoeducation on psychological therapy
and relaxation techniques as well as information on ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a number of mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
JoBot is a conversational agent that interacts with users by use of several languages, including English, German and Arabic as well as multi-media content.
At any point in time, the user is invited to talk to an online psychologist or myself directly. The development of JoBot includes both programming and machine learning.
As a heavily knowledge-based system, JoBot includes background knowledge in the form of ontologies on many subjects including neurodevelopmental issues. Machine learning utilises user feedback to continuously improve the system.
The objective is an artificial intelligence system that optimises itself to offer quality,
evidence-based psychological service. The following points guided the development of JoBot.
The first and most important design principle is that any form of language input must be accepted and JoBot is giving reasonable responses
in each and every case. In other words, it must be possible to talk about anything including topics that have nothing to do with psychology or mental health.
Secondly, any response given by the bot must not only be understandable and reasonable but must to some extent represent the competence and personality of the human original.
Thirdly, no conversation about sexual issues is possible.
Next, JoBots dialogue structure cannot be changed by machine learning. It must be guaranteed that the bot’s responses are appropriate and on topic at all times.
The fifth principal is that JoBot does not recognise a user. In the free version, there is no user registration and no reference can be made to previous conversations.
JoBot is like a book in a library: you can loan the book and read it or leave the book behind and the book does not know you.
Finally, JoBot is not a mobile app. The program is accessible through Web pages and can be used on desktops and any mobile device.
Since this is an important design principle, there is really no difference between the JoBot Website and the conversational agent.
JoBot integrates various forms of language analysis to assess the emotional state of the user. This includes an analysis of the dialogue with the user and the willingness to receive information on forms of therapies.
Furthermore, the word choice of the user is examined. A third method is based on machine learning. The user has
access to this information upon request.
Please note that JoBot does NOT perform psychological asessment or therapy, it is an educational tool and as such assists skill development. JoBot is NO replacement for assessment and therapy by a qualified mental health professional.
Psychotherapy as Heuristic Search to explore the theory behind JoBot in more detail. An older video on knowledge acquisition is here.