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New Techniques to Detect Depression Through Voice

New Techniques to Detect Depression Through Voice

Tuesday, 23 July, 2019 - 05:30
Illustrative image of depression (Favor_of_God, iStock by Getty Images)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Artificial intelligence can now more accurately detect whether you're depressed by analyzing the sound of your voice.

Researchers Mashrura Tasnim and Eleni Stroulia developed a method that combines several machine-learning algorithms to recognize depression more accurately from acoustic cues by using two standard benchmark sets of audio recordings ranging from five to 50 minutes long.

The researchers built on past studies suggesting the timbre of our voice contains information about our mood.

The website cited researcher Stroulia saying: "The ultimate goal is to develop helpful applications from the technology. A realistic scenario is to have people use an app that will collect voice samples as they speak naturally. The app, running on the user's phone, will recognize and track indicators of mood, such as depression, over time."

"Much like you have a step counter on your phone, you could have a depression indicator based on your voice as you use the phone," she added.

The German News Agency reported that about 11 percent of Canadian men and 16 percent of Canadian women will experience major depression at some point in their lives, according to the Government of Canada.

Meanwhile, 3.2 million Canadian youth aged 12 to 19 are at risk for developing depression. Such a tool could help people reflect on their own moods over time or be used to work with mental health service providers, the researchers said.

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