Facebook Inc to expand its pattern recognition software to help prevent suicide

Vastavam web: Facebook Inc will expand its pattern recognition software to other countries after successful tests in the U.S. to detect users with suicidal intent, the world’s largest social media network said on Monday.Facebook has not disclosed many technical details of the program, but the company said its software searches for certain phrases that could be clues, such as the questions “Are you ok?” and “Can I help?”
If the software detects a potential suicide, it alerts a team of Facebook workers who specialize in handling such reports. The system suggests resources to the user or to friends of the person such as a telephone help line. Facebook workers sometimes call local authorities to intervene.Facebook said it tries to have specialist employees available at any hour to call authorities in local languages.
Rosen did not name the countries where Facebook was deploying the software, but he said it would eventually be used worldwide except in the European Union due to sensitivities, which he declined to discuss.Other tech firms also try to prevent suicides. Google’s search engine displays the phone number for a suicide hot line in response to certain searches.
One exception is its efforts to spot suspicious conversations between children and adult sexual predators. Facebook sometimes contacts authorities when its automated screens pick up inappropriate language.But it may be more difficult for tech firms to justify scanning conversations in other situations, said Ryan Calo, a University of Washington law professor who writes about tech.