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Facebook Now Uses AI to Help Prevent Suicides, Experts Weigh In

Mar 23, 2017 10:35 AM EDT

Facebook is now making a bold move towards the prevention of suicide among its users using artificial intelligence and by updating a lot of its other tools.

This news is courtesy from Facebook itself, which said it will use artificial intelligence and integrate its new set of suicide prevention protocols on its many tools. This involves live-streams on Facebook Live and its built-in Messenger feature.

The network's blog post made particular mention of artificial intelligence. They said AI will be used in order to spot behavior from people with suicidal tendencies.

Facebook said its new and updated tools will give users watching a live video to help reach out to the person directly, or even report the video to Facebook. This includes other tools such as reporting the live video, reaching out to said friend, and giving them direct access to a nearby help line.

While the system is currently out, Futurism said contacting crises counselors is currently only available in the U.S. Facebook has also yet to reveal a "release" date for the feature in other countries. 

This could be in response to a 14-year-old foster child from Florida, who allegedly broadcasted her suicide on Facebook Live. This is alarming news as suicide appears to be the second-leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds.

In U.S., suicide rates have increased by 24 percent from 1999 to 2014 after what appeared to be a period of consistent decline.

Facebook's move is a bold one, but can be a helpful one as well. Facebook has grown into an almost everyday essential with a user base of 1.86 million. Its new Facebook Live service, which allows people to broadcast real-time videos to followers has slowly been a growing popular feature that might help save lives.

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