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posted by LaminatorX on Sunday November 16 2014, @11:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the over-there dept.

David Wagner writes that a predictive computer model using machine learning methods is helping to identify soldiers in the United States Army most likely to commit suicide. Computers combed through data on more than 40,000 soldiers who'd been hospitalized for mental health problems looking at 421 variables on each soldier drawn from 38 military data systems. Using a method known as “machine learning,” the researchers identified roughly two dozen factors that are most important in predicting soldiers most likely to commit suicide. The soldiers most likely to take their own lives were men with past suicidal behavior and a history of psychiatric disorders and criminal offenses, including weapons possession and verbal assaults. Soldiers with hearing loss also faced heightened risk — a strong indicator that they had suffered a head injury. So did enlisting in the Army after age 27, most likely because those soldiers had already experienced trouble finding their way in life. “There’s this group that comes to the Army later in life — they’re smart, they have skills, they tend not to be married and they have no career or have left a career to join,” Dr. Kessler said. “We don’t know why they should be at higher risk, but they appear to be.”

Murray Stein, co-author of the new study, found that among soldiers recently discharged from psychiatric hospitals, more than half of suicides were committed by just five percent of patients. “The most impressive thing is that they identified this high-risk group in the hospital, and by just focusing on one in 20 of them, you’re really dramatically improving your ability to predict,” says Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University who was not involved in the study. “Clinicians don’t do a very good job predicting suicide risk, even though we think we do.”

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  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16 2014, @12:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16 2014, @12:54PM (#116385)

    When soldiers in the United States Army break through their conditioning and comprehend that they serve the Ultimate Evil, the guilt is so overwhelming that they kill themselves out of shame.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16 2014, @10:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16 2014, @10:43PM (#116524)

    We can't even be honest with ourselves about why we are targets of terrorism:

    Americans are asking "Why do they hate us?"

    They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

    - George W. Bush

    The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government, they elect their president, their government manufactures arms and gives them to Israel and Israel uses them to massacre Palestinians. The American Congress endorses all government measures and this proves that the entire America is responsible for the atrocities perpetrated against Muslims.

    - Osama bin Laden

    We defend the Korean border while leaving our own open. Why risk your life elsewhere when your own country is being invaded?

  • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday November 17 2014, @12:51AM

    by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 17 2014, @12:51AM (#116541)

    Normal citizens just watching TV receive more mental conditioning than US Army soldiers. Soldiers do get a lot of physical conditioning though : )

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