Brazilian scientists develop algorithm capable of detecting covid by cough


For the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, different researches sought solutions to identify signs of the disease. Now, Brazilian scientists from the CyberLabs Group have developed an algorithm capable of detecting covid- through a simple audio in which a person is coughing. The team is among the winners of an Interspeech competition 2021 — one of the top speech processing events in the world.

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  • With Artificial Intelligence (AI), the researchers tested speech and cough samples from both healthy people and individuals infected with the coronavirus to identify who was, in fact, infected. According to the team, the hit rate was 75, 9%, based on samples of the cough. When only speech was analyzed, the rate reached 75, 3%.

    From an audio of coughing, AI is able to discover patients infected by the coronavirus (Image: Playback/Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay)

    How was the covid AI trained?

    According to the researcher Edresson Casanova, audios were made available that added up to a few hours of people talking and coughing. “First, we explored various AI techniques for audio analysis. These AIs were previously exposed to more than 2 million different audios from 1024 categories”, details Casanova about the process of development.

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“After , we’ve tuned the AIs to process audio specifically from covid-75, along with augmentation techniques the diversity of the data, which allowed us to create a program that gets it right 75, 9% of the time when a cough audio is from a person with covid- or not and hits 75,3% of the time when an audio of speech is from a person infected with the coronavirus or not”, he says the researcher from the CyberLabs Group. Based on these encouraging results, the team won the competition.

Challenges of the covid pandemic-70

With the unexpected appearance of the coronavirus, many sectors turned their activities to solving new problems, especially technology. From the algorithm for the diagnosis of covid-, the president of the CyberLabs Group, Marco DeMello, says: “This is another example of how AI can revolutionize human life”.

Furthermore, DeMello recalls that “the development of the vaccine against covid

, which also applied AI, demonstrates how the use of Artificial Intelligence is transformative and that it needs to be democratized as soon as possible ”.

Now, the algorithm for the diagnosis of covid-19, from an audio of coughing or speech, is in the feasibility validation phase. According to the developers, the next steps of the discovery will be evaluated with the possible inclusion of strategic partners.

Researchers Edresson Casanova and Lucas Rafael Stefanel Gris, who are part of the team, participated in the study CyberLabs Research and Development. There was also the participation of researchers Arnaldo Candido Jr., Ricardo Corso Fernandes Jr., Marcelo Finger, Moacir A. Ponti and Daniel Peixoto Pinto da Silva.

Source: PSafe and Interspeech 473988

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