Facebook is looking to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help detect suicidal thoughts and feelings.
The move is part of the social media giant's ongoing effort to "help build a safe community on and off Facebook."
Facebook said in an official blogpost Monday that it was adopting "proactive detection efforts" to help people who are expressing thoughts of suicide on the platform, including the use of pattern recognition to detect posts or live videos where suicidal thoughts are being expressed.
Facebook said that the additional work it was doing included:
- Using pattern recognition to detect posts or live videos where someone might be expressing thoughts of suicide, and to help respond to reports faster
- Improving how Facebook identifies appropriate first responders
- Dedicating more reviewers from the platform's Community Operations team, which includes a team of specialists who have specific mental health training, to review reports of suicide and self-harm.
The development comes after several high-profile suicides and suicide attempts have been broadcast on Facebook Live. Multiple other social media platforms have also been used to either livestream suicides or express suicidal thoughts.
Facebook has previously asked its users to report to it any suicidal content they find, but the latest efforts go much further by using AI to detect suicidal thoughts before users have to proactively report their concerns to the tech company.
Commenting on the work, Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of product management, said that "when someone is expressing thoughts of suicide, it's important to get them help as quickly as possible.
"Facebook is a place where friends and family are already connected and we are able to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them. It's part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook."