Data for social good: When big data and machine learning saves lives

(c)iStock.com/oneinchpunch “There are people who will then research and find out ‘Why is this?’ Or change policies based on this data. Information can save lives,” said Nancy Lublin, founder of Crisis Text Line. In just over two years, 15 million text messages have been sent to “741741” from every area code in the US, connecting people with anxiety and depression with counsellors. It has grown rapidly because “just someone being there for them and caring and asking questions and validating can take the heat out of that moment.” Lublin said something as simple as saying “How about you put those pills in a desk while we’re talking” can make a world of difference, giving counsellors time to “try to get their address because if you’re texting an active hotline, you…


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