AI Chatbots: The Do’s and Don’ts 

Artificial Intelligence. The Future. A waste of time. A danger to humanity. A modern marvel. Whatever you call it, it looks like it’s here to stay. From education to healthcare to supermarkets, AI chatbots are everywhere as a way of helping us get the information we need. And, most of the time, they do pretty well at it. But what else can they do? The Mix and VoiceBox explore the Do’s and Don’ts of AI chatbots.

A young person smiles while looking at their phone.

What is an AI chatbot?

It’s basically a computer programme that speaks to you. With advances in AI, these programmes can now sound eerily human-like, with the ability to have long and increasingly complex conversations with you.

For example, say you need an appointment or prescription from your doctors. A simple chat with a chatbot can help you book a time, reorder your medicine and make you feel like the whole conversation was carried out by another human.

The chances are you’ve probably talked to a chatbot in many scenarios, but recently they’ve become a little more complex than simply helping you order your groceries or visit your GP.

Love Machines

Research has shown that ‘young people are twice as likely to feel lonely as those over 70.

Making connections are part of being human. So if we’re not getting those connections from humans, where might we go?

Hello AI.

AI chatbots now have the ability to replicate those connections, enabling you to have so-called meaningful relationships that cover anything from sexting to mentoring. Yes, you really can talk dirty with machines one minute, then get them to help you pass that maths exam the next.

AI chatbot platforms like Replika boast over 10 million users worldwide, with young people joining in their masses to use AI for fun, intimacy and a cure to loneliness. While these experiences can have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing, it’s important to understand the capabilities of these chatbots to ensure that don’t impact us negatively.


  • Watch out for an over-reliance on your AI companion. It can be just as unhealthy as over-reliance on a real person. If you find yourself getting too attached, try to take a break.
  • Check in with yourself and evaluate if your in-person connections are struggling as a result of communicating with your AI companion. Is the bot helping you feel less lonely, or is it adding to feelings of isolation?
  • Practice the same compassion on an AI chatbot as you would with a real person. Don’t lose empathy just because it isn’t ‘real’.
  • If you have a real-life romantic relationship and use AI chatbots for intimacy, make sure to be transparent with your partner. Respecting boundaries will help you keep healthy relationships offline.


  • Don’t share anything with your chatbot that you don’t feel comfortable with. This includes anything related to your sexual interests, your personal details, or information that somebody has entrusted you with.
  • Some AI chatbots may go off on a tangent and disclose extreme and sometimes explicit content. If it’s making you feel uncomfortable, don’t feel like you need to continue the conversation. Take it with a grain of salt and report anything harmful to the provider.

Data Data Data

We all have it.

Businesses love it.

Chatbots collect it.

Some AI chatbots will collect your personal data, including what you disclose in your conversations with them. This allows advertisers to show you more targeted ads. So while we might like to see more relevant adverts that reflect our lifestyle, we may feel a little bit spooked when we’re flooded with ads for that new iPhone when we don’t remember mentioning it.


  • Be wary of what you share. Even if the bot says it’s your friend and there to support you.
  • If you decide not to share your personal data with the AI chatbot company, then make sure you go into your settings and request that your data be deleted.
  • Some bots may show you advertisements within your chat log. Be sure to think critically before purchasing something that your bot has suggested.


  • Don’t say anything to a chatbot that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with a human. As a rule of thumb, never share your bank details with a chatbot even if you think the organisation if safe.
  • Don’t leave your location on if you don’t want your chatbot to collect this data. Simply switch off your location in your phone settings. (To do so, you may need to locate the settings for that particular app, then select how often you want that app to have access to your location. Selecting ‘Never’ will switch the location off completely).

The Future Is Now (Kind Of)

It may feel like we’re already living in the future. The rise of AI has taken the world by storm, becoming an increasing presence in our day-to-day lives.

However, are AI chatbots perfect?

Is anything perfect?

The answer is no.

While a chatbot can provide a sense of security and make you feel like you’re in a real relationship, if you feel like it’s taking over your IRL relationships then you’re not alone. Speak to a friend or loved one if you’re feeling overwhelmed or alternatively, get involved in our discussion boards and share your thoughts via the link below.

AI is here to stay. And it looks like chatbots are too. The more we know about them, the more we can make them work for us – helping us grow and enhance our personal, professional and social lives.

Useful Resources

  • To find out more about our relationship with AI chatbots, read VoiceBox’s full report here.

Next Steps


Updated on 25-Jun-2024

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