Korea Makes Use of Artificial Intelligence to Prevent Suicide Attempts on Bridges

South Korea and the Seoul Metropolitan Government will be launching its newest pilot program that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and prevent suicide attempts of individuals in bridges. The artificial intelligence surveillance system will be paired with CCTV cameras that use deep learning.

The initiative comes years after numerous suicide attempts are made per year. Reuters said that in 2019, approximately 13,700 people committed suicide. This is the biggest number of cases throughout the OECD.

Meanwhile, CTVNews.ca reveals that around 486 people try to commit suicide on the bridges along the Han River. Of this number, the Seoul authorities reportedly save 96.83% of individuals who attempt to take their lives.

South Korea Makes Use of Artificial Intelligence

According to The Star, researchers from the Seoul Institute of Technology said Wednesday, June 30, 2021, that the AI system has been taught to learn and identify the different behavioral patterns of people. The system has reportedly analyzed different types of data obtained from cameras, dispatch records, and sensors since April of last year.

Besides this, CTVNews.ca states that the artificial intelligence and CCTV system also takes into account the information obtained from people who were rescued or saved from their suicide attempts. Moreover, phone calls and text messages were also analyzed by these systems.

Through this, the artificial intelligence can gauge whether or not the person is in a harmful situation based on its analysis of different factors, such as the hesitation of the person in question, and by extension, alert authorities, notes Reuters.

In a press release by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, it said that “This system allows rapid responses to suicide attempts – both before or after an incident – and minimizes surveillance loopholes.”

“Not only that, but it can also dramatically reduce warning errors thanks to AI’s ability to reflect environmental factors, including illumination levels and weather, as well as characteristics of Han River bridges such as wobbling caused by winds and traffic. As data accumulates, the accuracy of the system will increase further,” continued the statement.

In a statement to Reuters, Kim Hyeong-gil from the Yeouido Water Rescue Brigade said that “We believe the new CCTV will enable our crews to detect the cases a bit faster and help use head to a call more promptly.”

The Star reveals that the new pilot program of the Seoul Metropolitan Government will officially start in October 2021. The initiative will be spearheaded and overseen by both the Seoul Fire and Disaster Headquarters as well as the researchers from the Seoul Institute of Technology.

As of writing, there are four control center in Seoul runs 24 hours a day and seven days a week. These include centers in Banpo, Gwangnaru, Ttukseom, and Yeouido.