NEWS3 January 2018

Canadian government to partner with AI firm on suicide prevention

Mobile News North America Technology

CANADA – The Canadian government plans to partner with AI and market research company Advanced Symbolics to attempt to predict potential rises in suicide risk by monitoring social media content. 

Social media dark_crop

A contract with the Ottawa-based firm is set to be finalised later this month, according to Engadget.

The government will work with Advanced Symbolics to define "suicide related behaviour”, including “ideation (i.e. thoughts), behaviours (i.e. suicide attempts, self-harm, suicide) and communications (i.e. suicidal threats, plans)".

It will then use that classifier to "conduct market research on the general population of Canada in order to identify patterns associated with users who discuss suicide-related behaviour, based on online data", according to a tender document published on the government’s Public Works website.

The partnership would see Advanced Symbolics monitor social media posts for three months as a pilot of the programme.