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Coaching at Scale: Investigating the Efficacy of Artificial Intelligence Coaching

N Terblanche, J Molyn, E de Haan, V Nilsson International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2022

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

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