Coaching at scale


Investigating the efficacy of Artificial Intelligence coaching

Nicky Terblanche, Joanna Molyn, Erik de Haan & Viktor Nilsson
International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, 2022

There is limited empirical efficacy evidence on the confluence of artificial intelligence (AI) andorganisational and life coaching. Coaching “works” but is often unavailable or unaffordable. AIcould scale coaching to reach a wider audience, however, we do not yet know how well AIcoaching “works”. This replication randomised controlled trial longitudinal study tested theefficacy of a chatbot AI coach called Vici. An experimental group (n=75) used Vici for sixmonths. Eight measurements on goal attainment, resilience, psychological wellbeing, andperceived stress were collected from the experimental and control group (n=94). Data wascollected at baseline, after each of the six chatbot usage months, and three-months later. Theexperimental group showed a statistically significant increase in goal attainment, while all othermeasures yielded non-significant results. Using AI, goal and control theories we interpret theseresults to indicate that AI coaching is effective in a narrow application, suggesting that AI coulddemocratise coaching in a cost-effective, scalable manner.

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