DiaryMate: Exploring the Roles of Large Language Models in Facilitating AI-mediated Journaling

CHI 2023 Workshop. (Intelligent and Interactive Writing Assistants)



In this position paper, we report our ongoing research examining the use of large language models (LLMs) in promoting mental well-being through journaling. While journaling can be beneficial for expressing personal thoughts and emotions, it can be challenging for individuals who struggle to articulate their internal states into words. LLMs have the potential to assist with this by translating users' ambiguous thoughts and experience into writing. However, using LLMs in journaling can also have drawbacks, such as neglecting the personal context of users and reducing users' initiative in writing. To explore the opportunities and challenges of using LLMs in journaling, we conducted a field deployment study using DiaryMate. The participants used the diverse sentences generated by the LLM to reflect on their past experiences from multiple perspectives and saw it as an empathetic partner. However, they gave excessive credibility to the LLM's generated sentences, often prioritizing its emotional expressions over their own. Based on the findings, we highlight the importance of considering the risks and benefits of using such technology in supporting personal reflection and emotional expression.