Facebook wants to use AI to help prevent suicides

Facebook wants to use AI to help prevent suicides

(KLTV) - Facebook is rolling out new artificial intelligence tools to combat suicide rates.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the news Monday via the social networking site.

Zuckerberg says the software will identify when a person is expressing thoughts about suicide on Facebook so they can get the support needed. The business mogul said in the past month the tools have helped Facebook connect with first responders more than 100 times.

"With all the fear about how AI may be harmful in the future, it's good to remind ourselves how AI is actually helping save people's lives today," Zuckerberg said.

The tools are honed to recognize patterns and identify signals, such as comments asking if someone is okay. The AI then reports to a Facebook team.

Facebook users reactions have been varied, with some supporting the news and others expressing a distrust of AI. Others shared personal stories about how suicide has impacted them.

Zuckerberg responded to many users, including Miche'le Lynn Cortinas Huybers who posted about her significant other's death in 2010.

"I'm so sorry about your loss. One of my greatest regrets is how long it can take to develop important technology," Zuckerberg wrote. "I feel like we have a responsibility to push forward, through whatever problems we'll encounter along the way, so we can help people as quickly as possible. There will always be issues with anything we build, and it will never be perfect, but that can't stop us from getting started. Hopefully, these tools will improve so that the next person in your partner's position will get the help they need sooner.

Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.