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04
Nov

Soon Internet search engines may help prevent suicides

Posted by on in Search Engines
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BERLIN: Internet search engines may help save lives in the future, thanks to scientists who are developing a way to effectively identify users who are at risk of suicide and provide them with information on where to find help, reports PTI.

Search engine queries not only tell a lot about the user’s interests and predilections, they also contain information relating to their mood or state of health. In response to recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO), search engines like Google are already responding to search queries containing terms which imply that the user might be contemplating suicide by specifically drawing attention to counselling and other suicide prevention services.

“The Internet is playing an increasingly significant role in suicide prevention,” said Florian Arendt from LudwigMaximilian University (LMU) in Germany. Indeed, several studies indicate that suicidal persons can be deterred from taking their lives when reminded of available help resources. Researchers carried out a study on how the algorithms that search engines use to parse queries might be modified so as to ensure that they more effectively target remedial information to those at risk.

An earlier study showed that only 25 per cent of the queries classified by Google as potentially suiciderelated lead to the presentation of the Google “suicide prevention result” as recommended by the WHO.

Source : freepressjournal

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