Algorithms crunch calls to health insurer for signs of disease

Technology 

Did your voice give it away? US start-up Canary Speech is developing deep-learning algorithms to detect if people have neurological conditions like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease just by listening to the sound of their voice. And it’s found a controversial source of audio data to train its algorithms on: phone calls to a health insurer.

The health insurer – which Canary Speech would not name but says is “a very large American healthcare and insurance provider” – has provided the company with hundreds of millions of phone calls that have been collected over the past 15 years and are labelled with information about the speaker’s medical history and demographic background. Read More