Technology 2 min read

Japanese High School To Prevent Bullying Using AI

Bullying is one of the most prevalent causes of self-harm and depression amongst teens and young adults. Now, a Japanese school hopes to use AI to help put a stop to it.

Like every nation, Japan has a major bullying problem. | Pexels

Like every nation, Japan has a major bullying problem. | Pexels

In 2011, a 13-year old junior committed suicide after enduring weeks of bullying at his high school in Otsu, Shiga. At first, the school claimed that the bullies were not directly responsible for the boy’s death.

But, the high school conducted a survey, and the result proved the opposite.

According to the answers, over 60 students saw the boy been bullied in the three weeks before his death. Along with punching and forcing him to eat dead bees, the bullies arranged a mock funeral for the 13-year old junior, before he eventually committed suicide.

Not only did the survey result cause public outrage, but it also shone some light on bullying in Japan.

As a result, the country enacted laws that directly addressed this issue. School boards now require guidelines to prevent bullying.

To that effect, Otsu has a plan to stop the reoccurrence of the 2011 suicide, and it begins with Artificial Intelligence.

Read More: Why Do People Bully Robots?

AI To Predict Bullying and Prevent Suicide

According to a post in the Japanese Times, the Otsu school board wants to take a technological approach to school bullying. Using AI, the school intends to predict the outcome of bullying in high school. Here is how it works.

The school plans to feed about 9,000 suspected cases of bullying into the AI. The data, collected from 2012 to 2018 reported cases from Otsu elementary as well as the junior high school should contain the student’s details. These include their gender, ages, academic, and absenteeism records, as well as where the bullying incident took place.

With the AI, the school hopes to identify bullying cases that could escalate into suicide and diffuse the situation before it becomes too late.

According to Otsu Mayor’s statement to the Japanese Times, rather than rely on the teacher’s past experiences, the AI’s theoretical analysis of previous data will enable a timely response.

Using AI to Prevent Bullying Globally

School bullying is a pervasive problem in the world. According to a survey, 25 percent of middle school bully-victims reported having seriously considered suicide.

Also, 41 percent of middle school bully-victims and 29% of high school bully-victims reported self-harming without an intent to commit suicide.

If this new technology proves useful in Otsu, perhaps it could be applied globally to prevent other students from reaching a similar breaking point.

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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