Artificial Intelligence is Learning to Predict and Prevent Suicide
Megan Molteni, a writer for Wired, recently wrote an article on how social media giants such as Facebook and Instagram are using artificial intelligence to spot and help avoid suicide victims. She talks about how Doctors at research hospitals and also the US Department of Veterans Affairs have gotten involved in using technology to prevent suicide. The goal of the research is to create artificial intelligence programs that are extremely accurate at predicating a potential suicidal victim.
I did a little research and found that the suicide rates are increasing. From 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate has risen by more than 24%. I also found that suicide is the 10th leading of cause of death in the U.S. Out of all the things that people could die from, I wouldn’t have thought that suicide would be such a high ranking cause of death. Since so many people are on social media today or even just use the internet in general, the use of suicide prevention software can be a significant factor in preventing suicide. Let alone the use of artificial intelligence can be huge when it comes to helping spot potential victims. It will be the most helpful for younger victims in my opinion. Most young people use social media as a platform to express themselves. I have heard of cases of suicide where the victim had posted things online before committing suicide They were almost cries for help that should have been noticed easily by others.
Facebook and Instagram have already been using artificial intelligence to find posts relating to suicide, self harm, or anything else that would make others worry about the user. The sites allow users to flag the posts for employees to review the individual and determine what should be done. It is great that current social media sites have already been accumulating this data. The more data that researchers have, the more efficient the artificial intelligence programs will be.
Artificial intelligence would be able to spot individuals as soon as they post and be able to send help. I think the growing use of the internet will actually be a good thing in reducing the suicide rate. Once algorithms are perfected based off of past data, and the evolution of technology increases, artificial intelligence will be able to police the internet. I’m certain most people who use the internet regularly have heard or even seen cases where people have posted online before they commited suicide. I have heard about more than one and to me it’s awful that they weren’t avoided because they so easily could have been. I guess it is because many people online don’t take the threats seriously and that is where the artificial intelligence programs are going to help the most. Every single post pertaining to suicide will be analyzed. Now, most of the posts are going to be false alarms but that doesn’t matter. It is so much better to be safe than sorry.