Facebook introduces artificial intelligence based suicide prevention tools

Suicide prevention tools for Facebook posts will now be integrated into Facebook Live.

Image Courtesy: newsroom.fb.com

Social Media giant Facebook on Wednesday introduced suicide prevention tools that use artificial intelligence and pattern recognition technology, the company said in a statement.

The company has expanded its decade-old suicide prevention tools by making it easier for users to flag account holders at risk of self-harm.

“Our suicide prevention tools for Facebook posts will now be integrated into Facebook Live. People watching a live video have the option to reach out to the person directly and to report the video to us. We will also provide resources to the person reporting the live video to assist them in helping their friend,” Facebook’s statement read.

The announcement said that the social network is experimenting with artificial intelligence and its potential to identify users likely to attempt suicide.

“Based on feedback from experts, we are testing a streamlined reporting process using pattern recognition in posts previously reported for suicide,” the announcement said. “This artificial intelligence approach will make the option to report a post about ‘suicide or self injury’ more prominent for potentially concerning posts like these.”

Facebook also plans to launch a campaign with partners around the world to raise awareness and encourage people to reach out if they see a friend is in distress.

The announcement, penned by Facebook product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch, researcher Jennifer Guadagno and Antigone Davis, the company’s head of Global Safety, said in the statement that Facebook is testing pattern recognition to identify posts as “very likely to include thoughts of suicide.”

“We are starting this limited test in the US and will continue working closely with suicide prevention experts to understand other ways we can use technology to help provide support,” the statement added.

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