Digital legacies: Facebook uses AI to prevent distress

It’s one thing to be nudged to wish a contact a happy birthday, but what can be done to prevent reminders about a relative or friend who has died, which may cause the bereaved distress?

Facebook has announced that they are using artificial intelligence (AI) to better handle activity around deceased users. This is in addition to a number of changes designed to make using the site less painful for people who are helping to deal with the accounts of users who have died, as well as adding features allowing them to be memorialised.

Over 30 million people view memorialised profiles every month, as a result of a legacy contact being able to convert the account into a memorialised profile. But it is the interim period soon after the death where activity has up until now been business as usual. 

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, said: “If an account hasn’t yet been memorialised, we use AI to help keep it from showing up in places that might cause distress, like recommending that person be invited to events or sending a birthday reminder to their friends.”

Read more: BBC Technology

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