Seoul is using artificial intelligence (AI), technologies to stop suicide attempts at Han River Bridges. The “smart” cameras are being taught to detect suspicious behavior and swiftly alert the authorities.
The Han River and 28 of its bridges are famous for hosting 486 attempts at suicide annually. South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates worldwide.
The new cameras “Deep learning AI is used to predict and detect hazardous situations,” according to a statement released by the Seoul Institute of Technology and city’s Fire & Disaster Headquarters when the plan was announced earlier this year.
Through watching videos of people who attempted suicide on the bridges, the AI has learned “The pattern for those most likely to leap off.”
It monitors for people who are slow or unusually active. CCTV cameras record suspicious behavior and transmit the footage to a central control centre. This in turn sends the footage to an operator who orders a team of rescuers to examine the bridge. The rescue boats may be also deployed.
“The most important thing in rescuing people who are trying to commit suicide is that they must be stopped before they’re in the water,” a spokesperson for the Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters told The Korea Times. He added that once the person is in the water, “The survival rate falls below 50%.”
“This system allows rapid responses to suicide attempts – both before or after an incident – and minimizes surveillance loopholes,” the statement said.
In early December, the emergency services announced that a control tower had been set up to manage hundreds of “smart” CCTV cameras. The system will continue to be updated throughout a trial period that runs from December 2022 through May 2022.