The social network #Facebook has started using #Artificial Intelligence to identify users who have suicidal tendencies, according to BBC News. The company has develop algorithms to identify users who want to #Commit Suicide, so they can get professional help. This new tool has been developed after the suicide from January this year that was broadcasted live on Facebook.
Algorithms for suicide prevention
Facebook has developed algorithms that identify warning signals, both in users' posts and in comments from their friends who answer them. After a confirmation from an evaluation team from Facebook, the company connects with those people who they consider at risk and they suggests ways to help them.
According to BBC, these algorithms are trained with examples of messages that were previously reported as indicating such a problem. These kind of messages could be, for example, posts about sadness and grief or answers from friends such as "are you OK?" or "I am worried about you."
Vanessa Callison-Burch, Facebook's product manager told BBC that they are aware that speed is critical when things are urgent.
The company's effort to prevent suicide was praised by the director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, who suggested that Facebook should do more than just giving advices, they should be contacting people who need help.
The new tool is being tested
The tool is currently being tested in the US. This is the first time the artificial intelligence (AI) technology is used to evaluate messages from the social network, since Mark Zuckerberg's announcement from last month expressing his hope to use these algorithms to identify posts made by terrorists.
New ways to approach suicidal behavior
Facebook also announced new approaches to suicidal behavior using the instrument called Facebook Live. The company has partnered with several US organizations specialized in the treatment of people with mental health problems, so they can allow their vulnerable users to contact these companies via instant Messenger service.
Counseling for users at risk of suicide
Facebook was already offering advice to their users at risk of suicide for years. But until now they relied on other users to bring this matter to their attention by clicking on the "report" button of a post.
This latest effort of the social network to help their users comes following the death of a girl of 14 years old from Miami, who has broadcasted her suicide live on Facebook in January.