AI to look for behavioral patterns on social media

A new program in Canada aims to learn if Artificial Intelligence (AI) can detect patterns of behavior on social media, before people act.

The $99,860 project will be handled by the Ottawa-based AI company Advanced Symbolics, Inc., and is not meant to identify or target specific individuals.

Instead, it will attempt to discover regional patterns in suicidal behavior, so public health officials can improve mental health resources in those areas.

Facebook has previously used data mining to look for any suicidal thoughts of its users. Last year, the site updated its algorithms to flag key phrases and refer posts to members of Facebook’s staff, who would then reach out to the user to check in.

What it could mean for IT

The increasing use of AI for large-scale projects has various implications for IT professionals.

Privacy and personal autonomy are premiere concerns, since AI intervening in someone’s behavior could have devastating consequences. But since AI technology is only now becoming widespread, we’re just beginning to see what other effects it could have on IT.


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