App helps new and deaf parents know when and why their baby is crying

Summarized by Amber Rottinghaus, staff writer

An innovative app developed by UCLA researchers is helping deaf parents like Delbert and Sanaz Whetter, parents of three, hear their baby’s cries.

While the couple originally relied on cameras and remote noise-monitors, they found that these devices had limitations in differentiating when their children were simply talking, fussing, or crying.

The app, called Chatterbaby, employs artificial intelligence to alert the parents and identify these different sounds and their causes. It is available for free on iPhone and Android devices or at Chatterbaby.org.

The app is also being used to study the relationship between cry patterns and autism risk in both hearing and deaf children. A checklist of risk factors for autism is included in the app, where parents can upload recordings of their own children’s cries to aid this research.

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