Voice-controlled nutrition app may help you lose weight

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Washington, D.C., Mar. 25 (ANI): According to a new study, a voice controlled nutrition tracker can prove beneficial for the people struggling with obesity and logging calorie counts.

A team of nutritionists from Tufts University who had been experimenting with mobile-phone apps for recording caloric intake approached members of the Spoken Language Systems Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) few years ago, with the idea of a spoken-language application that would make meal logging even easier.

This week researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be presenting a web-based prototype of their speech-controlled nutrition-logging system at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing in Shanghai.

The data is displayed together with images of the corresponding foods and pull-down menus that allow the user to refine their descriptions, selecting, for instance, precise quantities of food. But those refinements can also be made verbally.

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A senior research scientist James Glass, who leads the Spoken Language Systems Group, said what the Tufts nutritionists have experienced is that the apps that were out there to help people try to log meals tended to be a little tedious, and therefore people didn’t keep up with them. He added so they looked for ways that were accurate and easy to input information.

The researchers used machine-learning algorithms to find patterns in the syntactic relationships between words that would identify their functional roles.

The version of the system presented at the conference is intended chiefly to demonstrate the viability of its approach to natural-language processing; it reports calorie counts but doesn’t yet total them automatically.

The study was presented in the meeting of International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing. (ANI)

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