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ChatGPT Assisted Mediation Simulations – What We Have Learned So Far (video)

Many members from our LinkedIn group ‘AI Mediators Network: Learn, Share, Connect’ are using ChatGPT-assisted mediation simulations to practice and hone their skills – independently, at any time – in various languages. Here’s what we’ve learned from their experiences up to now.

ChatGPT: Three Ways to Make the Most of it

ChatGPT-assisted mediation simulations offer three distinct approaches for practice.

Approach 1 – ChatGPT can play various roles, like playing the parties, their lawyers, and even acting as an invisible “Assistant.” This Assistant can give helpful advice to the mediator during the simulations, which can include both joint and private meetings (caucus), followed by a debrief. In this debrief, the mediator can ask the parties and their lawyers some insightful and thought-provoking questions, such as: How well did I explain the benefits of mediation, how it works, and my role as a neutral mediator? Did you feel heard and understood by me? Which questions do you wish I had asked you but I didn’t?

Approach 2 – ChatGPT can act as the mediator. This feature is particularly useful when a mediator, after a challenging real mediation, wonders: what could have I done differently, better? How would ChatGPT have handled that case if it had been in my shoes?

Approach 3 – ChatGPT can help mediators practice particular skills and techniques they’ve learned during their mediation training. For example, a mediator can test Robert Cialdini’s principle of ‘Reciprocity,’ as explained in his famous book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,’ when negotiations hit a dead end, as demonstrated in this 5-minute video https://youtu.be/LvEZabUeN5Y

Similarly, a mediator can ask ChatGPT to play the roles of the parties in a specific scenario and then ask which of two opening statements would be more effective from the parties’ viewpoint, as shown in this 2-minute video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F76e6FlK1kw

Professional Mediation Training: Still Essential

While ChatGPT can step into different roles during mediation simulations, it can’t teach how to mediate. It’s just too complicated. The truth is, mediators still need proper, professional mediation training.

Mediation Simulations – The More, The Better

Although ChatGPT-assisted mediation simulations are certainly convenient and useful, it’s important to view them as a supplementary tool rather than a substitute for the structured classroom or online simulations typically conducted during mediation training.

Realistic Mediation Simulations

When ChatGPT takes on the roles of the parties, it tends to be a bit too ‘soft.’ Maybe it’s because most of the information it finds on the internet about mediation is positive. So, what we’ve figured out is that, in order to make mediation simulations as realistic as they can be, it’s best if the mediator gives ChatGPT some extra information about the parties’ personalities, communication styles, relationship, motivation to reach an agreement, and their past experiences with other mediators – whether good or bad.

Not Only in English

While ChatGPT’s  main language is English, it can also function in other languages. We’ve already conducted ChatGPT-assisted mediation simulations in Italian, German, Turkish, Greek, simplified Mandarin, and Latin-American Spanish. Furthermore, we’re currently conducting additional tests in other languages.

Co-Mediation – Work in progress

We know that many community mediation centers and peer mediation programs use co-mediation, so we tried having ChatGPT play the roles of two co-mediators in our simulations. But we’re still figuring out how to make it work.

Who Can Benefit from ChatGPT-Assisted Mediation Simulations?

Certainly, mediation trainees and novice mediators stand to gain. Additionally, mediation trainers can provide their students with a convenient (and free) platform to practice their newly acquired skills before they start to fade or lose interest. Lastly, experienced mediators who are curious and open to experimenting with ChatGPT to explore different mediation methods or techniques can also find value in these simulations.

Conclusion

We still have much to learn about the various ways ChatGPT can assist mediators worldwide in practicing and refining their skills. However, the results of our tests thus far appear promising.

                        author

Giuseppe Leone

Giuseppe Leone, a retired mediator in Hawaii, has been practicing mediation since 1997. He leveraged online video conferencing apps like Skype and later Zoom to conduct extensive mediation simulations with mediators worldwide. Recently, Giuseppe has uncovered a method for mediators to independently practice and enhance their mediation skills at any… MORE >

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