Seoul bridge suicide AI monitoring, prevention

June 2021
Updated: January 2022

Reuters reports that the Seoul Metropolitan Government is using AI to detect and prevent suicide attempts on the Han River.

Privacy experts worry that the project may encroach on personal privacy, especially if there is no public signage. There are also fears that the system could be used for other surveillance-related purposes in the future.

Korea has more suicides than any other OECD country, a rate that has accelerated with COVID-19. Almost 500 suicide attempts are reported on the Han River every year.

Seoul authorities have been operating a 24-hour CCTV-based suicide surveillance and response system since 2012 on bridges over the Han River.

Operator: Seoul Metropolitan Government
Developer: Seoul Institute of Technology (SIT); Seoul Fire and Disaster Headquarters (SFDH)
Country: S Korea
Sector:
Govt - municipal
Purpose: Reduce suicides
Technology: CCTV; Computer vision
Issue: Privacy; Dual/multi-use; Surveillance
Opacity: Governance