Algorithm Helps Pinpoint Suicide Risk Among LGBTQ

LGBTQ individuals are 4.5x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth, according to the USC School of Social Work, but a new solution from TrevorSpace is using data and artificial intelligence to prevent this

More than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth seriously consider suicide each year according to The Trevor Project, but the group is using artificial intelligence tools to address the problem. The company created a 24/7 text and chat service and an international social network called TrevorSpace, using hospital admission data and Facebook text and video posts as part of an algorithm to predict and prevent suicide. The algorithm identifies the person who is likely at risk, sends a text with questions such as “How upset are you?” or “Do you have thoughts of suicide?” and then relies on Google’s natural language processing model “ALBERT” to gauge the urgency of response. Trevor dispatches first responders in dire situations while those considered at a high risk for self-harm are bumped up to the top of the queue to speak with a counselor. This doesn’t replace the work of the counselors but enhances the chances of helping someone earlier when every second counts.

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