The Power of Voice - Blogmantra


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Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Power of Voice
Image source: scs.on

The ability to convey one’s thoughts with the help of voice is an underrated superpower that we humans possess. We can only imagine the everyday struggles of someone who is not bestowed upon with such a gift. But, apart from this, recent studies have discovered that our voice can be handy in assessing the physiological state of our body, i.e. our voice can also reveal if we’re getting ill.

A US based start-up called ‘Canary Speech’ is developing a way of analysing conversations using machine learning to test for a number of neurological and cognitive diseases, ranging from Parkinson’s disease to Dementia.

The idea for this start-up was born out of an unfortunate personal experience for the firm’s co-founder Henry O’Connell, whose friend was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years after it actually happened.

Apparently, it is believed that vocal symptoms develop way before other observable symptoms, which include changes to what people say and how they say it.

Canary Speech developed algorithms after examining various patients suffering from different conditions, which helps them to find out the peculiarities in the kinds of words used, their phrasing and the overall quality of speech.

The software is capable of picking up small changes in one’s speech patterns, like softening of voice, repeated use of certain words etc. that can be easily overlooked or ignored by those who live with us.

The goal is to diagnose a disease as soon as possible, which gives more time to plan and work on the cure. The firm believes that the outcome and accuracy of the algorithms will improve as it gains access to more data related to various diseases.

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