Facebook taps artificial intelligence for new suicide prevention tools

Brittany A. Roston - Mar 1, 2017
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Facebook taps artificial intelligence for new suicide prevention tools

Facebook has introduced updated suicide prevention tools that, among other things, tap artificial intelligence to aid in the ‘streamlined reporting’ of suicidal statuses. The social network has also expanded the suicide prevention tools to work in Facebook live, making it easier for viewers to help those who are broadcasting worrisome live video. Finally, the company has also partnered with crisis support organizations, making it easier for users to connect with them through Messenger.

Suicide prevention tools on Facebook aren’t new, but they are getting better as time goes on, and this latest change is no exception. According to the social network, these tools now cover live videos, where a user may express intent to harm themselves to a live audience. If you happen to be watching a video where this is the case, you’ll be able to reach out to this person directly if you wish, and also to report the video to Facebook.

Facebook will provide a list of resources for both the viewer and the broadcaster to see to get help. In the present, Facebook says it is testing a ‘streamlined reporting process’ in which pattern recognition algorithm is used to detect whether a status is troublesome. If it is, the option to report the post will be made more prominent to viewers who may also be concerned.

Even better, this AI functionality will allow posts that sound suicidal to be served up to the company’s Community Operations team, who will then review to the post and send the user resources if applicable…even if no users have reported the post. This particular tool — the AI prevention — is being tested in the US on a limited basis at this time.

SOURCE: Facebook


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