Facebook is expanding the pattern recognition or Artificial Intelligence software to other countries after testing successfully in the US. This is apparently to detect the users who have suicidal nature. The largest social media platform started doing the software tests in the US in March. In the process, Facebook scanned the posts text, comments for phrases that can indicate to an upcoming suicide. However, Facebook has yet not disclosed any technical details about the program but according to the company, the software searches for specific phrases which can be considered as clues including questions like “Are you ok?” and “Can I help?”
When the software detects a potential suicide, it alerts the Facebook team workers who are specialized to handle reports like this. After that, with the help of Artificial Intelligence the system suggests resources to the users or to the person’s friend such as a telephone helpline. Not only this, Facebook workers even call the local authorities for intervening.
The Vice President of Product Management, Guy Rosen said, “The Company was beginning to roll out the software outside the United States because the tests have been successful. During the past month, first responders checked on people more than 100 times after Facebook software detected suicidal intent.” Rosen added, “Speed really matters. We have to get help to people in real time.”
According to Facebook, it tries to have specialist employees who are available for calling authorities in local languages. Previous year, when Facebook announced live video broadcasting, the videos proliferated of violent acts like suicides and murders, presenting a threat to the company’s image. In May Facebook said it would be hiring 3,000 more people for monitoring videos and other content. However, Rosen hasn’t confirmed the name of the countries where Facebook was going to deploy the software, but he said it would be used all over the world with time, except the European Union because of sensitivities that he didn’t want to discuss further. Furthermore, Rosen declined to mention if Facebook was considering pattern recognition software in other areas, like the non-sex crimes.