It’s closer to writing for a role-playing video game than anything else.

I’ve used a combination of analytics, user testing, and a childhood spent playing Dungeons & Dragons to refine our scripts and improve engagement.

Meet Emily, the free messenger chatbot from Life Folder.

Taboo chat bot-70Taboo chat bot-60

“People are getting married, they’re buying a house, they’re having kids — all very typical places to start — and then stop to think about, ‘What else do I need to do in my life? More challenging may be considering end-of-life care options — and preparing the relevant documents for one’s death. “Death is so taboo, in the United States in particular,’’ said the Netherlands-born Kamps, a Dutch inventor, tech journalist and trained end-of-life coach. Research in 2013 by the Conversation Project, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care, showed that 90 percent of those surveyed say talking with loved ones about the subject is important, but just 27 percent have done so.

Kamps’ inspiration for Life Folder came about in February 2014 when two things happened in the same week: His mother-in-law suffered a major stroke, which she survived, and he listened to a “Planet Money” podcast about La Crosse, Wisconsin, where 96 percent of the residents have made plans for when they die.

One day after Tay went live on Twitter and elsewhere Microsoft was forced to shut her down after users taught the bot to spout racist and sexist sentiments.

Microsoft does have two other longer lived social chatbots — launching its first, called Xiaoice, in China in May 2014, and a second, Rinna, in Japan in July 2015.

Menstruation is something that affects half of the world populations on a monthly basis for decades, and it still represents a taboo in many societies around the world.

Being a taboo, there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about how the female body works, that has a huge effect on our daily choices.

At which point the conversation took an unexpected turn — as she appeared to offer me a large amount of cash…

I’ll admit Zo’s unexpected largess shocked me into silence on Kik; I headed to Twitter, per her instructions, and am now awaiting to see whether the bot’s word is her bond.

It takes more than a few iterations to get from a technical first draft to a message that’s not only accessible but also sounds human.

After all the time I’ve spent writing and rewriting scripts, here are my best suggestions about writing for a chatbot: Our audience comes from a huge cross-section of society.

Since we are in the health care space, we’re answering complex questions in a complex field.