Artificial Intelligence on the Front Lines of Suicide Prevention

If an app could tell you someone was suicidal, how would you use it? Social media feeds are filled with insights into the lives of people all over the world – some amusing, some mundane, and some that could save lives. Dr. Zachary Kaminsky, DIFD-Mach-Gaensslen Chair in Suicide Prevention Research at The Royal, is developing an algorithm that can identify suicidal ideation based on an individual’s Twitter posts. This could be developed into tools – an app, for example – that warn someone is at risk and give a chance to intervene.

This knowledge is becoming accessible so how should our community act on it? When and in whose hands would this information be most useful in bringing down suicide rates?