A newly developed app called the Infant Cries Translator is capable of revealing the meaning behind each baby’s sobbing and wailing, thus providing great assistance to first-time parents.
The software, which costs just $2.99 and can be found on Google Play and iTunes’ App Store, has been developed by experts at the Yun-Lin branch of the National Taiwan University Hospital.
It relies on a Cloud database consisting in more than 200,000 bawling sounds made by as many as 100 small children feeling pain or distress.
The audio sequences have been captured throughout a period of 2 years, and by analyzing the amplitude and frequency of each of the sounds recorded during the study, researchers have been able to determine which negative emotion or physical source of discomfort triggers a particular cry.
As explained by the app’s main developer, Chang Chuan-Yu, just by using this app it is possible to identify one of 4 possible drivers of anguish experienced by infants: soiled diapers, soreness or irritation, famine or drowsiness.
After downloading the Infant Cries Translator on their smartphones, users must provide their baby’s nationality and date of birth , in a form within the app.
Afterwards, they’ll only have to record their baby’s weeping sounds for 10 seconds, and let the program correlate that particular acoustic combination with one of the above-mentioned, commonly encountered factors of displeasure.
It only takes a few seconds for the algorithm to come up with a possible explanation regarding the infant’s whimpering or howling, and to display it on the cellphone’s screen.
Also, according to its inventors, the app’s success rate has been determined to reach even 92%, based on trial tests involving babies younger than 2 weeks, alongside their parents.
For slightly older babies, aged under 2 months, the program’s ability to correctly pinpoint sources of torment has been estimated at around 85%, whereas for four-month-old infants performance levels have been measured to be of approximately 77%.
Also, these already impressive scores are bound to be progressively improved, given that the more people use the app, the more information will be added in the database.
That is because the Infant Cries Translator is based on machine learning, which makes the algorithm more and more reliable as parents provide feedback and corrections, and additional data is stored and computed.
Researchers admit that the system still needs to be perfected before it can accurately translate incomprehensible sounds into actual words.
Another noteworthy disadvantage of the Infant Cries Translator is that it can’t work on kids aged 6 months and upwards, given that from that point onward the utterances an infant makes are significantly influenced by outside stimuli.
Nevertheless, it is the developers’ hope that this tool will allow numerous parents to quickly discover their babies’ sources of disquietude and trouble, in order to alleviate such feelings more promptly and effectively.
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