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Could Technology be the Key to Stopping School Shootings?

Could Technology be the Key to Stopping School Shootings? Read Transcript


- Just last week there was areport of an active shooter

at a North Carolina high school.

It was reported later,thankfully, as a false alarm.

But the reality of school shootings

have become way toocommon in this country.

Here now to discuss the use of technology

to prevent them is Titania Jordan.

She is with the app called Bark.

So thank you so much for joining us.

We reported on yoursuccess of your app before

to help parents, especially for children

in terms of suicide.

Briefly tell us about that.

- That's correct, yeah.

So Bark is technology thatkeeps children safer online

and in real life.

And as we touched on last time,

our app has helped to save 34 lives.

And we know that because34 different times

a parent has received analert via text or email

that their child was imminently suicidal.

And our technology broughtit to their attention

so they were able to stepin and get their children

the help they needed.

- Titania, tell us how it can be used

to prevent school shootings.

- Absolutely, so there's Bark for parents,

and there's Bark for schools.

And Bark for schools is absolutely free.

And what we know, based on our data,

is that children areexpressing violent thoughts

and threats both on personalaccounts and devices

as well as school-issueddevices and accounts.

And so based on our data, we have helped

to thwart 16 schoolshooting threats to date.

And that is happening,perhaps, on Snapchat

or text message or Twitter or email.

Children are expressing thesedark thoughts and desires

and because of our algorithmwe're able to find it,

flag it, and alert parentsand schools to the problem

before it becomes an actual situation.

- [Interviewer] If youcould, give us, I guess,

an insider's perspective abouthow the technology works.

How do you manage to havethe success rate and do this?

- Absolutely, so we have an amazing team

of data scientists and engineers

that have spent a greatdeal of time perfecting

our machine-learning algorithms.

We're using artificial intelligence

to look across socialmedia, texting, and email

for not just key words like shoot and gun,

but contextual analysisthat can look for signs

of depression, anxiety, likeI said, violent tendencies.

And it's not just key words.

It's images, it's video, it's audio.

We even caught a school shooting threat

where somebody had writtenon a bathroom wall,

"Don't come to schooltomorrow, bang, bang."

And a student had taken a photo of that,

put it on Snapchat,

and our algorithm caught that threat

and alerted a parent.

- Wow, so do you guyswork closely with schools

in terms of using this app?

- We absolutely do.

We are currently protectingover two million children now

across the US and arein over 700 districts

across the nation.

So we absolutely are working

with schools and parents right now.

- What kind of surprisingresults have you seen working

with this in terms of the results

that you guys have already seen?

- It's really alarming and heartbreaking

the amount of children that are struggling

with mental health issues,whether it's anxiety

or depression or self-harm.

Our algorithm has sent over33,000 self-harm alerts.

And this is children betweenthe ages of eight and 17,

and so it really sheds light on the fact

that this isn't just somethingthat you hear on the news.

This is really happening with children

that either you know orthat your children know.

And so we as adults need to be aware

of what our children'sdigital lives look like,

because they are very, veryoverlaid with their real life.

And then step in and haveopen and honest conversations

with them.

- Real quickly, how doesa parent get the app?

- So a parent can go towww.bark.us, that's our website.

And from there sign up.

- [Interviewer] All right,Titania Jordan with Bark,

thank you so much for your insights.

- Thank you for having me.

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