20 | JUL | 2019
Mexican students develop bot to detect suicidal behavior
Depression and suicide have been on the raise in Mexico during the last years – Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexican students develop chatbot to detect suicidal behavior

29/07/2018
16:09
Notimex
Mexico City
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Manuel Santana Castolo and Patricia Brand designed a strategy to diminish this conduct in young people, as social media helps to establish a dialogue between social groups

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Graduates from the Guadalajara University (UdeG) are working to develop a computer system called “chatbot”, that works through social media to help detect suicide risk factors.

Manuel Santana Castolo and Patricia Brand designed a strategy to diminish this conduct in young people, as social media helps to establish a dialogue between social groups.

The university students are looking to create a bot (program) that interacts with users through Facebook messenger, they want it to detect suicide risk factors and provide the necessary attention.

Patricia Brand, a psychologist, emphasized that the idea is that through the communication the bot will establish with the users, it could detect if there's depression or suicide risk. She clarified that this is not a diagnosis, it's only detection and a possible channeling towards professionals.

In 2015, the INEGI revealed that there were 6,285 suicides in the country, which is 5.2 suicides for every 100,000 people.

After learning about this, the Biomedical Engineer, Manuel Santana started to develop an app to detect suicide risk; he knew the difficulties he would face to share this with young people, that's why he opted for social media platforms to materialize the idea.
 

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To carry out this project, both experts got together to look for the right methodology to detect suicide risks.

“We're looking to implement artificial intelligence algorithms. The idea is that these algorithms improve with the users, the more questions it processes, the better it will interpret the answers”, said Santana.

In its first stage, the chatbot will receive the user's basic information to create a profile about the person who is interacting with it, and later, it will work with questions based on medical manuals to trace a path that allows detecting risk factors.

That way, once the system detects a risk factor, it will establish contact with the previously assigned references, or with mental health institutions.

The young university students expect that the bot's first stage will be ready by October.

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