Artificial intelligence that analyses the sound of a cough to detect covid-19 had been reported to be 99 per cent accurate, but a comprehensive analysis shows it’s only about 60 per cent accurate


3 January 2023

Sick woman buying in supermarket and coughing into elbow during COVID-19 pandemic.

AI that listens to a person coughing isn’t very good at predicting whether they have covid-19

Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock

AI is no better at predicting whether someone has covid-19 than a simple questionnaire asking people for self-reported symptoms.

Many earlier studies had suggested that AI systems could detect certain sounds in people’s coughs and voices that indicate a covid-19 infection, with reported accuracies as high as 99 per cent. But by testing AIs on a comprehensive covid-19 dataset from the UK National Health Service, researchers have shown how supposedly impressive AI performance …

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