Codebreaker

Detecting Parkinson’s through speech

Marc Sanchez Jun 25, 2012


Mathematician, Max Little is putting out a call for volunteers to have their voices recorded as he helps open the TEDGlobal conference that kicks off in Edinburgh, Scotland. The recordings will help inform a database that can help predict if someone will have Parkinson’s disease. The BBC reports: “Mr. Little has discovered that Parkinson’s symptoms can be detected by computer algorithms that analyse voice recordings.”=

Little’s system has proven to be 86 percent accurate when given a blind test of a mix of voices, both with and without the disease. With the help of volunteers from around the world, he wants to help his algorithm “learn.” He has set up a website and phone numbers around the world for people to call in and record a three minute, anonymous script (U.S. number: 1-857-284-8035). You have to indicate whether you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s or not. He hopes to record 10,000 voices.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.