Saturday, 17 November, 2018


Facebook's AI Will Now Detect Suicidal Posts Before They're Reported

Facebook trains artificial intelligence to spot suicidal signs Facebook's AI Will Now Detect Suicidal Posts Before They're Reported
Kristine Garrett | 28 November, 2017, 02:27

Facebook Inc. announced in March that it was exploring ways to use artificial intelligence to help suicidal users, and today the social network revealed several ways that it has been using its AI to prevent suicides.

Since the new tools were first tested in the U.S. earlier this year, Facebook has carried out 100 "wellness checks" on people it was concerned about.

Guy Rosen, vice president of product management at Facebook, said in a statement that it's important to spot signs quickly that a user is considering suicide so that he or she can get help as soon as possible, but it would be impossible for Facebook to manually monitor all of its more than 2 billion users.

The world's largest social network announced its intentions of doubling down on preventing self-harm by using artificial intelligence software created to identify posts containing suicidal intent. For example, comments from friends such as "are you ok?" can indicate suicidal thoughts.

Earlier this year, the firm first developed and tested the algorithms for suicide detection, flagging up posts and statuses which are made by people who were in need of help.

Facebook is about to roll out an automated suicide prevention system across the world following a successful test in America.

Through the use of AI, Facebook is looking for patterns that signal a user might be suicidal.

Facebook did not say why the suicide prevention scheme will not be introduced in Europe, but it is likely to be due to strict data protection rules governing the collection and storage of personal information.

As it stands, Facebook users can still directly report posts that concern them; these posts are shuttled off to the company's review teams which are said to "prioritize the most serious reports". Those tools, however, require users to reach out to Facebook or the person in need in order to get help.

Facebook says it's working to release the tool across the USA and eventually make it available to most of the world.

Facebook also uses pattern recognition to help accelerate the most concerning reports.

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