Canada launches AI programme to research suicide risks

The Canadian government is launching a pilot programme which will use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and predict suicide rates in the country. The programme, run in collaboration with AI company Advanced Symbolics, will mine more than 160 000 Canadian social media accounts, with the view to identify patterns associated with users who discuss suicide-related behaviour. The company has states that it would not target private communications, but solely rely on anonymised, public data. The programme, to run until June 2018, is expected to result in information about suicide-related discussions by age and gender, and also about ‘changes in patterns and available risks and protective factors‘.