NEW YORK (CBS4) – Facebook is now using artificial intelligence to recognize signals that someone may be considering suicide.

“Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people, and this is a new approach to prevention,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated Monday.

“Starting today we’re upgrading our AI tools to identify when someone is expressing thoughts about suicide on Facebook so we can help get them the support they need quickly,” Zuckerberg stated.

Zuckerberg said the technology is already helping save lives.

“In the last month alone, these AI tools have helped us connect with first responders quickly more than 100 times,” Zuckerberg stated.

Zuckerberg explained the AI tools use pattern recognition to identify signals — like comments asking if someone is okay — and then report them to a team that works 24 hours a day “to get people help within minutes.”

“We’re going to keep working closely with our partners at Save.orgNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255)’Forefront Suicide Prevent, and with first responders to keep improving,” Zuckerberg said.

“There’s a lot more we can do to improve this further,” Zuckerberg stated. “In the future, AI will be able to understand more of the subtle nuances of language, and will be able to identify different issues beyond suicide as well, including quickly spotting more kinds of bullying and hate.”

“If we can use AI to help people be there for their family and friends, that’s an important and positive step forward.”




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