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Technobyte: Facebook tool to help prevent suicide

Written by: Kwame Ofori

There is one death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-29-year-olds.

Experts say that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is for those in distress to hear from people who care about them.

Facebook is in a unique position — through friendships on the site — to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them.

It’s part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook.

Today we’re updating the tools and resources we offer to people who may be thinking of suicide, as well as the support we offer to their concerned friends and family members:

  • Integrated suicide prevention tools to help people in real time on Facebook Live
  • Live chat support from crisis support organizations through Messenger
  • Streamlined reporting for suicide, assisted by artificial intelligence

newsroom.fb.com

On Friday, Facebook debuted its new flagging system for fake news in America, tagging hoax stories as “disputed” for some users.

First announced amid criticism of the company for its role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 election, the new feature uses non-partisan third parties to assess the factual accuracy of stories reported as fake by users.

gizmodo.com

A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells.

These could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.

The latest breakthrough is a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is non-combustible and has a long cycle life (battery life) with a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge.

news.utexas.edu

Cobalt Robotics has announced an autonomous mobile robot designed for indoor security applications that can “work alongside human guards to provide better security than people can do alone.”

The key realization here is that security guards spend the vast majority of their time doing almost nothing.

Even in a worst-case scenario (like someone trying to break in, or a fire or other serious problem), their primary responsibility is making the right phone call as quickly as possible as opposed to dealing with the situation directly.

In general, a security guard needs to be able to walk around a building checking on things, occasionally interact with humans in a limited capacity.

But most importantly they need to notice if anything unusual is going on and tell someone about it, and this robot is designed to help do just that.

spectrum.ieee.org



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