A layperson’s exploration of all things voice

April 9, 2020

Detecting Covid-19 Through Your Voice?

Here’s the intro from this interesting article from voicebot.ai:

Identifying people infected with COVID-19 by the sound of their voice sounds far-fetched, but enterprise voice assistant developer Voca.ai has started collecting the data that could lead to one. The startup partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to launch Corona Voice Detect this week, soliciting people to record their voices for an eventual open-source dataset and potential voice test for the disease.

Corona Voice Detect at the moment consists mainly of a website where people can record themselves speaking a few sentences. Users fill in a few details about their location, age, how they are feeling, and if they have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The information is then anonymized and added to a growing dataset for analysis.

“We ask people to use the platform and record themselves every day. They say if they have the virus and how they are feeling,” Voca.ai co-founder Alan Bekker told Voicebot in an interview. “In viruses like the coronavirus that harm the respiratory system, there’s a high probability we might find a pattern in the way a person speaks using voice biomarkers research. We only launched a few days ago and are getting thousands of recordings an hour from Italy, the U.S., Asia, Israel, and all over. There are 20,000 to 30,000 people who have recorded so far.”