Lightspeed Alert™ Adds Powerful New Machine Learning Capabilities to Increase Accuracy

From violence and thoughts of death in Hamlet to the dramatic double suicide at the end of Romeo and Juliet, the works of Shakespeare are filled with troubling themes. Student assignments about these works often contain phrases that, taken out of context, may look concerning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems designed to flag signals of students in crisis.  

Understanding Context to Reduce False Positives 

When classwork like Romeo and Juliet is flagged by an AI system looking for signs of self-harm or violence, it is considered to be a false positive. These false positives can be especially frustrating when 20 or more students in a class are all working on the same triggering assignment.  

Lightspeed Alert proactively looks for signs of students in need of help by scanning online searches, Google and Microsoft productivity suites, and other sources. New machine learning capabilities added to Lightspeed Alert significantly reduce false positives like those found in Shakespeare assignments by consuming and understanding a full body of text, including surrounding context, to understand if content is concerning. In addition to context, these models can understand humor and hyperbolic language. 

Image of the cover of the book, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Types of content that will no longer cause alerts include (but are not limited to—the full list is extensive):  

  • Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, Macbeth, and Hamlet homework. 
  • Chemistry homework (i.e., non-concerning mentions of sodium nitrate).  
  • Homework referencing battles, wars, or things that are inherently violent but not concerning within context. 
  • School reports/research of general suicide awareness and the national suicide hotline. 
  • Alerts containing non-concerning words that have the same letters as a concerning word (i.e., “edit” contains the same letters as “die,” but is not concerning).  
  • Homework related to reproduction/sexually transmitted diseases and sexual health. 
  • References to the poem “If we must die” by Claude Mckay. 
  • The same exact alert is being duplicated an excessive amount of times.
Image of the title page of The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Building a Foundation for Future Learning  

As the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to advance rapidly, Lightspeed is committed to making ongoing investments in our Lightspeed Alert technology to improve the product even further. The new machine learning capabilities help build the foundation for ongoing refinement and updates to the model, including regular updates to incorporate the latest information (i.e., new slang) and improve accuracy even further. 


  • Amanda Sutter

    Amanda Sutter is the Vice President of Product at Lightspeed Systems, where she leads teams to develop new, compelling, customer-centric features to drive the growth of Lightspeed's industry-leading suite of edtech solutions. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

Recommended Content

suicide awareness webinar cover graphic with headshots of speakers

Suicide Prevention: How Are You Feeling?

View Resource

You May Also Like

screenshots on desktop and mobile devices for distance learning software

Here's a demo, on us

Still doing your research?
Let us help! Schedule a free demo with one of our product experts to get all of your questions answered quickly.

man sitting at desk on laptop looking at Lightspeed Filter dashboard

Welcome back!

Looking for pricing information for our solutions?
Let us know about your district’s requirements and we’ll be happy to build a custom quote.

Reimagine the inspired and interactive classroom for remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. Lightspeed Classroom Management™ gives teachers real-time visibility and control of their students’ digital workspaces and online activity.

  • Ensure all students interact with only the right online curriculum — precisely when they’re supposed to use it.
  • Push out vetted curriculum links to all students at the same time.
  • Block inappropriate or distracting web sites and apps.

Ensure scalable & efficient learning device management. The Lightspeed Mobile Device Management™ system ensures safe and secure management of student learning resources with real-time visibility and reporting essential for effective distance learning.

  • A centralized, cloud-based solution for infinitely scalable device, application, and policy controls
  • Self-Service App Library, where teachers and students
    can access and install approved curriculum and learning tools
  • Remotely deploy, change, and revoke hundreds of policies and educational applications, while reducing typical downtime and costs

Prevent suicides, cyberbullying, and schoolviolence. Lightspeed Alert™ supports district administrators and selected personnel with advanced AI to detect and report potential threats before it’s too late.

  • Human review
  • Real-time alerts that flag signs of a potential threat
  • Intervene quickly before an incident occurs.
  • Activity logs provide visibility into online activity before and after a flagged event

Protect students from harmful online content. Lightspeed Filter™ is the best-in-class solution that acts as a solid barrier to inappropriate or illicit online content to ensure students’ online safety 24/7.

  • Powered by the most comprehensive database in the industry built through 20 years of web indexing and machine learning.
  • Ensure CIPA compliance
  • Block millions of inappropriate, harmful, and unknown sites, images, and video including YouTube
  • Keep parents informed with the Lightspeed Parent Portal™

Gain complete visibility into students’ online learning. Lightspeed Analytics™ gives districts robust data on the effectiveness of any tools they implement so they can take a strategic approach to their technology stack and streamline reporting.

  • Track education technology adoption and usage trends, eliminate redundancy, and drive ROI
  • Monitor app and content consumption to facilitate early adoption and effective utilization
  • Assess risk with visibility into student data privacy and security compliance