Monday February 24, 2020
Home Lead Story Novel AI Tool...

Novel AI Tool to Detect Depression Via Sound of Your Voice

Such a tool could prove useful to support work with care providers or to help individuals reflect on their own moods over time

0
//
Neighborhoods
Depression is a major issue affecting millions of people, especially the teenagers. Pixabay

India — the sixth most depressed country in the world — has an estimated 56 million people suffering from depression and 38 million from anxiety disorders, according to a recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

To help identify depression early, scientists have now enhanced a technology that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to sift through sound of your voice to gauge whether you are depressed or not.

Computing science researchers from University of Alberta in Canada have improved technology for identifying depression through vocal cues.

The study, conducted by Mashrura Tasnim and Professor Eleni Stroulia, builds on past research that suggests that the timbre of our voice contains information about our mood.

Using standard benchmark data sets, Tasnim and Stroulia developed a methodology that combines several Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to recognize depression more accurately using acoustic cues.

A realistic scenario is to have people use an app that will collect voice samples as they speak naturally.

artificial intelligence, nobel prize
“Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society.” VOA

“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,” said Stroulia.

Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to global disability. It is also the major contributor to suicide deaths.

The ultimate goal, said researchers, is to develop meaningful applications from this technology.

Also Read- Facebook to Pay $5bn Fine Over Privacy Violations

Such a tool could prove useful to support work with care providers or to help individuals reflect on their own moods over time.

“This work, developing more accurate detection in standard benchmark data sets, is the first step,” added Stroulia while presenting the paper at the Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence recently. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s How Prolonged Sitting Can lead to Depression Among Teenagers

Prolonged sitting is linked to depression risk in adolescents

0
Depression
Young people who spend too much time sitting still are at an increased risk of depression. Pixabay

Here’s a health advice. Young people who spend too much time sitting still are at an increased risk of depression, researchers have warned.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, found that an additional 60 minutes of light activity (such as walking or doing chores) daily at age 12 was associated with a 10 per cent reduction in depressive symptoms at age 18.

“Our findings show that young people who are inactive for large proportions of the day throughout adolescence face a greater risk of depression by age 18,” said study lead author Aaron Kandola from University College London in the UK. “We found that any degree of physical activity that can reduce the time we spend sitting down is likely to be beneficial,” Kandola added.

For the findings, the research team used data from 4,257 adolescents, who have been participating in longitudinal research from birth as part of the University of Bristol’s Children of the 90s cohort study.

Depression
Youngsters who are inactive for large proportions of the day throughout adolescence face a greater risk of depression by age 18. Pixabay

The children wore accelerometers to track their movement for at least 10 hours over at least three days, at ages 12, 14 and 16. The accelerometers reported whether the child was engaging in light activity (which could include walking or hobbies such as playing an instrument or painting), engaging in moderate-to-physical activity (such as running or cycling), or if they were sedentary.

Depressive symptoms, such as low mood, loss of pleasure and poor concentration, were measured with a clinical questionnaire. The questionnaire measures depressive symptoms and their severity on a spectrum, rather than providing a clinical diagnosis.

Between the ages of 12 and 16, total physical activity declined across the cohort, which was mainly due to a decrease in light activity and an increase in sedentary behaviour.

The researchers found that every additional 60 minutes of sedentary behaviour per day at age 12, 14 and 16 was associated with an increase in depression score of 11.1 per cent, eight per cent or 10.5 per cent, respectively, by age 18.

Those with consistently high amounts of time spent sedentary at all three ages had 28.2 per cent higher depression scores by age 18, the study said.

Also Read- Men Are More Interested in Buying Fashion Items Than Women: Survey

Every additional hour of light physical activity per day at age 12, 14 and 16 was associated with depression scores at age 18 that were 9.6 per cent, 7.8 per cent and 11.1 per cent lower, respectively.

“Light activity could be particularly useful because it doesn’t require much effort and it’s easy to fit into the daily routines of most young people,” said study senior author Joseph Hayes. (IANS)