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Baby Translator

May 30, 2018

A new app helps parents interpret the meaning of their babies’ cries.

Transcript

(Vlynn/Pixabay)

(Vlynn/Pixabay)

BOB HIRSHON (HOST):

Decoding baby cries. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

[Baby crying] Is this baby hurt? Or hungry? UCLA psychiatrist and statistician Arianna Anderson claims her computer program, ChatterBaby, can tell the difference.

HIRSHON:

ARIANNA ANDERSON (UCLA):

It looks at the types of frequencies that are in the cry and it looks at the different patterns of sound and silence. So for example if you see a cry that has a long period of silence inside it, it’s more likely the baby is fussy.

HIRSHON:

She and her colleagues created the algorithm using data from over 2000 infant cries, and have made the program available as a mobile app at chatterbaby.org. Users are encouraged to share five seconds of their baby’s crying with the research team. In addition to helping new parents and deaf parents interpret their babies’ calls, she is hoping to uncover patterns that could help in the diagnosis of autism and other developmental disorders. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon