Technology | 11.11.20
AI Can Detect COVID-19 by Listening to Your Cough
Engadget (10/31/20) Fingas, Jon
MIT researchers have developed artificial intelligence (AI) that can recognize forced coughing from people who have the coronavirus, even if they are otherwise asymptomatic. The breakthrough came in the development of a slew of neural networks that can distinguish subtle changes indicative of COVID-19's effects. One network detects sounds associated with vocal strength. A second listens for emotional states that reflect a neurological decline, while a third gauges changes in respiratory performance. An algorithm has also been developed that checks for muscular degradation — i.e., weaker coughs. It provides a more complete picture of someone's health. The AI has been highly accurate in initial tests, recognizing 98.5% of coughs from people with confirmed COVID-19 cases. It also identified 100% of people who were ostensibly asymptomatic. However, researchers note the technology is not meant to diagnose symptomatic people, as they may have other conditions that produce similar behavior.
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