Facebook is expanding its use of pattern recognition software outside of the United States to help prevent suicides, Reuters reported Monday. Facebook executive Guy Rosen said that the software's initial testing in the U.S. was effective and led to first responders meeting with more than 100 users identified by the program as suicide risks.
Facebook's pattern recognition software has taken big leaps forward, according to TechCrunch. In March, the company unveiled a less advanced version of the program that offered information about suicide prevention resources to flagged users and nudged them to reach out to a friend. Now Facebook's artificial intelligence can automatically identify posts that include suicidal thoughts and send them to human moderators, who can then contact local authorities or first responders directly. "This is about shaving off minutes at every single step of the process," Rosen said.
Facebook says that the program will eventually be rolled out everywhere except the EU, where it might run afoul of privacy protections. A successful unveiling could bring some much needed positive PR to the tech giant — and save some lives. Kelly O'Meara Morales