Preventing Suicide Risk with Artificial Intelligence

///Preventing Suicide Risk with Artificial Intelligence

Experiments are carried out to detect suicide candidates using big data and artificial intelligence. The latest experiment of this kind comes from the United States, the universities of Tennessee and Florida.

Researchers have worked with an artificial intelligence program capable of accurately detecting at-risk patients in a given population. Result: AI could predict a suicide attempt two years in advance with 80-90% success rate. This rate would climb to 92% for a suicide that could occur within a week.

How to predict suicide?

The principle of artificial intelligence is to analyze a large amount of data – anonymous – in order to deduce rules. For this, an AI must train. US researchers have therefore submitted to the program the medical records of more than 5,000 people who had been admitted to the hospital for attempted suicide.

Among them, they distinguished more than 3,000 of them who had made a real attempt at suicide and 2,000 who had injured themselves but without going as far as the dramatic end.

The computer has molded these data (age, sex, addresses, drugs were taken and medical diagnostics …) and deduced some rules. However, caution must be exercised, and not all researchers have revealed this, but the researchers put forward sleep disorders as a precursor to suicide.

Avoiding suicides through social network analysis

The Tennessee and Florida experimentation is limited to persons who have been admitted to the medical community. To go further, it would be necessary to analyze profiles of people outside the medical framework.

This is what Cincinnati researchers have been doing since last year, based on totally different criteria. For their part, they have developed an algorithm that focuses on the tone of the voice and the words used (morbid vocabulary, the length of silences, etc.).

Finally, scientists would like to be able to identify suicide candidates on social networks in order to be able to intervene on time. Social networks constitute a formidable amount of information connected to the mood of the populations. Moreover, Facebook is working on the development of its own algorithm to detect the warning signs of suicide.

By |2017-06-13T12:25:54+00:00June 13th, 2017|Artifical Intelligence, Technology|2 Comments


  1. Lewis January 9, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Artificial intelligence remains to be an ocean reduced to a drop of water. It’s diversity and ability to be applied in various ways makes it very important to our lives. AI might be a the ultimate solution to crime we have been waiting for. That means a need to equip our security personnel with tools operating with AI to help them solve the most difficult cases and also save many lives of forthcoming death cases. It could also help people suffering from mental disorders and incidences and help others avoid critical stages of this incidences. The AI should also be handled with care,as more threats are when the information falls to the wrong hands as it could lead to more destruction compared to solutions .

  2. Daniel Ogeto Omwancha January 21, 2018 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    This is a very interesting and helpful article. I marvel at how much digital technology is enabling us do today. The many innovative startups that are pioneering breakthrough solutions to things we never thought could be done a few years ago like predicting suicide. Predicting aggression is a notoriously important and difficult task for mental health professionals. When it comes to aggression directed against oneself, the ability to tell who’s at risk so appropriate interventions can be made is at most uncertain, at best. Suicide takes a terrible toll on most families and can affect survivors across generations. Given these considerations, developing tools to better predict suicidal risk is necessary and long overdue. Advances in neuroimaging and computation, however, are beginning to make it possible to analyze brain activity, and use machine learning models to determine who is likely to harm themselves and who is not, leading to better clinical decision-making and treatment approaches. Artificial intelligence offers the possibility to identify suicide-prone people more accurately, creating opportunities to intervene long before thoughts turn to action. The next step would be to use AI to analyze video, audio, and text comments simultaneously. Unlike a clinic visit, this kind of monitoring offers more than just a snapshot of someone’s mental state. Think about it. Between all the sensors in your phone, its camera and microphone and messages, that device’s data could tell a lot about you. More so, potentially, than you could see about yourself. To you, maybe it was just a few missed trips to the gym and a few times you didn’t call your mom back and a few times you just stayed in bed. But to a machine finely tuned to your habits and warning signs that gets smarter the more time it spends with your data, that might be a red flag.

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