Facebook has announced that it will be using Artificial Intelligence to spot suicidal users and prevent them from self-harming. It is for this reason that the social networking platform has developed an algorithm that will access the risk and thus help suicide helpline team track the people in distress. The tool will further outline several ways the person can reach out for help and the tool is already being tested in the US.
Artificial Intelligence has been the cornerstone of many projects across different platforms but it’s in cases like these that the technology will intervene directly and help prevent deaths. In fact Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg had announced last month that he also hoped the algorithms would be able to capture the terrorists by keeping an eye on their posts. Facebook will be on a lookout for suicidal behavior across various channels including Live Broadcast and has joined hands with US-based mental health organizations to allow people in distress ask for help and get the attention they need.
Until now Facebook would come to know of suicidal behavior only when someone else would flag their post but starting from now the pattern-recognition algorithms will recognize if someone is struggling and the flares will go up if someone asks “Are you OK?” or “I’m worried about you.” The network’s community operations team would review the post immediately and get in action.
The caveat comes in the form of privacy, Facebook can try to get in touch with the person’s friend but that would be a direct violation of their privacy, especially so in the cases of false alarms. Things went berserk when recently a Miami teen live streamed her death on Facebook live. This is just one peril apart from piracy, explicit content and hate speeches when it comes to living streaming. Since the video is broadcasted in real-time it does take a while to review the same and this is one of the biggest bottlenecks. The suicide rates have been constantly on a rise in most part of the world and experts believe that this can be prevented by timely intervention. It would be interesting to see the usefulness of the tool and whether other platforms will follow suite.