Despite the exponential growth of available chatbot apps for users to engage with, James Murray (Vice President, Business Development and Enterprise Partnerships, Woebot Health, USA) and colleagues felt that an empathetic connection was lacking in these user-service interactions, with these interactions feeling more transactional than realistic. That’s why they endeavored to develop “Woebot”, an app that can create and maintain a therapeutic working alliance, which is critical to enabling meaningful user engagement and improved outcomes. James describes Woebot as a “relational agent”, which means that Woebot aims to replicate some of the elements of human relationships. The technology of Woebot may encourage future developments by other chatbot developers to mimic more personal and empathetic interactions, which may ultimately contribute to closing the large gap between mental health service provision and the need for mental health support.