Facebook has just launched a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered suicide prevention tool to identify users who may be at risk of potential self injury or planning a suicide attempt. This move comes in the wake of prevailing suicide escalations across the world, wherein one death by suicide is being reported every 40 seconds with it being the primary cause of death for those aged around 15 to 29 years.
The AI algorithm is designed to recognise potential signs of a suicide attempt through users' posts and friend responses received on the social network and offer them a helpline service through the Messenger app at times of crisis.
Presently, the new AI algorithm is undergoing a trial run only in the US which will improve upon the suicide prevention features that have existed for more than a decade. Some of the new additions seen in this update include real-time Facebook Live integration alongside the AI-powered tool to help potential suicide victims overcome their emotional trauma.
The Facebook Live integration feature will allow the victim to interact with a helpline service through the Messenger app, besides communicating in real-time with their closed ones or friends during the live-stream broadcast. At the time of sharing the live video, its creator will find various options to reach out to his/her loved ones or best friend, before taking the extreme step of committing a suicide.
The AI algorithm is now paired with a pattern recognition system that can spot threatening situations through earlier posts that were reported for suicide and alert all known contacts of the potential victim to prevent a possible suicide attempt or self injury.