LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WPVI) -- New parents no longer have to scratch their heads, wondering why their baby is crying.
A team at UCLA Health has developed an app to help.
Ariana Anderson, Ph.D., of UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience, a mother of 3, got the idea after noticing similarities in her babies' cries.
Dr. Anderson used machine language and a database of 2 thousand cries to develop ChatterBaby.
"As a statistician, I see the world in terms of numbers and patterns, and so the first thiought was whether or not I could train a computer algorithm to do what my ears as a parent as a parent could automatically do," she notes.
It analyzes what each cry means - fussy, angry, or in pain.
"It looks at the types of frequencies that are in the cry, and it looks at the different patterns of sound and silence," says Anderson.
"Between fussy and hungry, it's a little hard to tell, but pain we could identify with 90 percent accuracy," she added.
ChatterBabywas originally developed to help hearing-impaired parents know WHEN their baby was crying, and WHY.
"We can only tell if there is something loud happening in the room. And we have a child that is very talkative. He would babble. So we can't distinguish between loud noises and crying," says Delbert Whetter, a hearing-impaired father of two.
Sanaz Whetter says it could help her connect to her children much better.
"It would help a lot, I'm really excited about the app. It would help the children be safe," Sanaz says.
But designers say the app can also help first-time parents and moms with postpartum depression, who may have a hard time reading their infant's cues.
ChatterBaby is free of charge, and available for download for Apple and Android phones.
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