The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

AI is Useless for Qual

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are changing how people do quant research, digital marketing and data analytics. But it's not relevant for qual research. Or is it?

2020 Research’s Qualboard 4.0 platform now includes a Smart Reply feature for qualitative moderation, trained on a million moderator-respondent interactions collected over 10 years. Like messaging apps, it interprets the content of a post and suggests follow-ups and probes to save the moderator time when replying.

Remesh uses a range of AI techniques to gather unstructured feedback from participants in an online discussion. Responses are analysed on-the-fly, clusters of similar opinions are visualised, and moderators can then focus on the most relevant topics or promising ideas and probe deeper in real-time.

And Rival Technologies uses a chatbot interface to engage respondents in one-to-one discussions through a web browser or inside a messaging app. The content of the responses can be analysed with Natural Language Processing to understand topics, themes and sentiment.

But of course, we’ll never get robot moderators. That will never happen.


Mike Stevens
Director, What Next Strategy & Planning

This article was first published in InBrief magazine, April 2019
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2019