The Tree Hole bot scours the Chinese social network Weibo for messages with suicide risk factors, in order to alert volunteer psychologists.
The project started on the Chinese social network Weibo is promising. This is the use of artificial intelligence to track suicide risk factors among the users who launch messages to that ocean of miscellany that makes up any social platform. It is known as Tree Hole.
Only artificial intelligence algorithms can effectively detect these risk factors. The magnitude of the information is such that a form of automatic tracking is necessary. This is what Huang Zhisheng, creator of the program that has been launched on the social network Weibo, has thought. Artificial intelligence researcher at Vrije University in Amsterdam, Zhisheng has created a bot capable of warning about suicide-related problems.
The software scans content and analyzes it based on certain patterns. If it detects that there are messages that allude to suicide or contain risk factors, the bot alerts a team of volunteer psychologists. This contact the user who issues messages to offer his help.
Since the beginning of the program in July 2018, the team ma have prevented more than 1,000 suicides. The bot has been called Tree Hole, in reference to the old Anglo-Saxon belief, between legend and tradition, of going to the forest to find a tree with a hole to tell your secrets. Social networks would act today in the same way. Users download in them messages that are lost in the immensity of the information, the best way to tell a secret without actually knowing anyone.
This bot Tree Hole is made to listen to those messages. When alarms go off for a case, it goes to some of the 600 volunteer psychologists that are part of the project. Artificial intelligence only serves as a filter. The hard work has to be done by the person serving that user with potential suicide risk.
AI as a formula to prevent suicide
The case of Tree Hole is an example of how artificial intelligence can help prevent suicide. Obviously you have to do some planning from behind. Also a team of people dedicated to talking to users. Those who are at risk of suicide usually have some social deficiencies that the psychologist tries to eliminate.
In the desperation that their situation goes unnoticed by everyone, the voice of a person who cares is a balm. This is the basis of the system launched on Weibo. But he’s not the only one who uses AI to address mental health issues. A researcher at Stanford University created a chatbot to combat depression. In this case, an artificial intelligence conversation to support these people.
Images: 809499, StockSnap