Facebook’s AI will proactively spot suicide posts, critical to Facebook Live

The Short:

Facebook is rolling out its “proactive detection” AI update to users worldwide, except in the EU. The software update scans and spots troubling and potentially suicidal messages, and often alerts moderators and local authorities before these posts are actually reported by humans.

The Long:

Facebook has been testing out this AI feature in the U.S. during the last one month, and will be rolling it out globally.

The AI feature will not be made available to Facebook platforms in the European Union because of General Data Protection Regulation restrictions that disallow users to be profiled using sensitive information.

The update will allow Facebook to identify and escalate potential suicide messaging across the platform using complex AI algorithms.

According to VP of product management Guy Rosen:

“This is about shaving off minutes at every single step of the process, especially in Facebook Live. There have been cases where the first-responder has arrived and the person is still broadcasting.”

During the testing period in the U.S., Facebook has alerted first-responders in more than 100 cases, calling them “wellness checks.”

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