An app developed by UCLA researchers can notify deaf parents when their baby or child is crying and even differentiate the meaning of the cry, according to UCLA Newsroom.
Ariana Anderson, assistant professor in residence of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, led the research and named the app Chatterbaby, which uses artificial intelligence to tell the parents when the baby is crying and why the baby is upset.
“I realized that the cries of my third baby were remarkably similar to the cries of the first two,” said Anderson. “As a mother, you instinctively know what your child is trying to tell you simply by listening to how they cry, even if you can’t see them. As a statistician, I thought, ‘Can we train an algorithm to do what my ears as a parent can do automatically?’ The answer was yes.”
After uploading audio of more than 2,000 infant cries, they tested algorithms to translate the cries into three different categories: pain, hunger and fussiness.
The app is available on iPhone and Android devices for free and at Chatterbaby.org. The app allows parents to record and upload their own child’s cries, which are analyzed by AI.
“This study is unique because it brings the lab to the participant instead of the participant to the lab,” Anderson says. “It’s open to anyone willing to download the Chatterbaby app on their iPhone or Android devices, record five seconds of their baby’s cries, then upload it to the database.”
Anderson hopes this app will help with more than determining a baby’s cry, but with identifying patterns or associations related to infant development such as autism.