Machine learning could automate screening kids for speech and language disorders

Screening for language disorders is best done early and often, but it’s not always easy to get the equipment and staff to every kid in a timely fashion. At least a basic level of screening, however, may soon be able to be automated or done at home, if research out of MIT proves reliable.Computer scientists from the school discussed a new technique at the Interspeech conference in San Francisco; it’s still very early in development, but it’s more than a little promising. Children suffering from neural disorders affecting speech and comprehension exhibit certain patterns when performing a certain test, essentially narrating a series of pictures. Pauses, trouble with certain tenses or pronouns — little things may indicate a more serious problem. The system created by grad student Jen Gong and…


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