Apple Researching Ways to Use iPhone Camera to Detect Childhood Autism

Apple is reportedly researching ways to use the cameras inside of the iPhone to detect childhood autism, aiming to use data from the camera to observe a child's behavior that could be used for early diagnosis, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

iPhone 13 Face ID
According to the report, which echoes previously announced research efforts, Apple wants to be able to use the camera inside of the ‌iPhone‌ to track a child's face and observe different facial behaviors, such as how often they look away, as potential factors for detecting childhood autism. From the report:

Apple has a third brain-related research partnership with Duke University that it hasn't disclosed. It aims to create an algorithm to help detect childhood autism, according to the documents and people familiar with the work. The research looks at using the iPhone's camera to observe how young children focus, how often they sway back and forth, and other measures, according to the documents.

Biogen, an American biotechnology company, had previously announced it was partnering with Apple to study ways to use the ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch to notice a cognitive decline in users or potential signs of depression.

Including that and Apple's early work in childhood autism detection, the Journal says that these features may never become a user-end feature, but notes that Apple had invested in multiple heart-focused studies before releasing a host of related features on the Apple Watch.

The report notes that as part of Apple's privacy push, the company would ultimately aim to run any algorithms, including those for early detection of childhood autism, locally on a user's device, without needing to send any data collected to the cloud for processing. The report adds that research is still in the early stages, but Apple executives are enthusiastic about its potential.

Top Rated Comments

lxmeta Avatar
16 months ago

CSAM 2.0

Tim: “We think you’re gonna love it.”
CSAM 3.0: We did not like how you looked at that girl...
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sf844 Avatar
16 months ago
This obsession over scanning and classifying people is really cringeworthy.

I'm sure their parents will figure out whether they're autistic Apple, ffs.

Stop scanning what we do or how we act!!
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dapa0s Avatar
16 months ago
1 new notification from Apple:

„Your child is autistic“
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sniffies Avatar
16 months ago
CSAM 2.0

Tim: “We think you’re gonna love it.”
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Psychicbob Avatar
16 months ago
next step: Your iPhone has detected you are having thoughts that are not compatible with the Apple Corp ethos. Your iPhone is shutting down now.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
urbZZ Avatar
16 months ago
It seems like Apple did a "worst possible idea" workshop a year ago, but someone forgot to invert the ideas ...
First CSAM now this? WTF Apple, just leave users devices alone, will ya??
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

honor earbuds3pro

Honor Unveils AirPods-Like 'Earbuds 3 Pro' With Built-in Temperature Monitoring

Tuesday March 1, 2022 1:02 am PST by
Honor has announced Earbuds 3 Pro that come with integrated temperature monitoring technology, a feature that has also reportedly been tested by Apple in AirPods prototypes. Market interest in building temperature measuring functions into earbuds has been mooted for some time now, as it could be useful for fertility tracking, keeping track of sleep, and in the future, it could also detect...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole

iPhone 14 Pro Design Reportedly Finalized As Suppliers Begin Trial Production

Monday February 21, 2022 3:41 am PST by
Apple's largest supplier, Foxconn, has begun trial production of the iPhone 14 Pro, suggesting that Apple has finalized its design as it moves into the early stages of device manufacturing, according to a report from the Taiwan Economic Times. According to the report, Foxconn will manufacture the higher-end models of the iPhone 14, while Luxshare, another Apple supplier, will take on the...
craig wwdc 2021 privacy

Report Highlights How Top Apple Executives Disagreed Over How Far iOS Anti-Tracking Measures Should Go

Monday March 14, 2022 7:19 am PDT by
A new report has highlighted how three top prominent executives initially found themselves at odds in early deliberations about Apple's App Tracking Transparency framework. According to the report from The Information, the executives who disagreed over how far Apple should go in protecting user privacy in digital advertising included Apple's Craig Federighi, who oversees software...
emergency sos iphone banner

iPhones and Apple Watches Could Detect a Car Crash and Auto-Dial 911 Starting Next Year

Monday November 1, 2021 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is planning a new feature for the iPhone and Apple Watch that would enable the devices to detect if you are involved in a car crash and automatically dial 911 for emergency services, according to The Wall Street Journal's Rolfe Winkler. Apple plans to launch the "crash detection" feature in 2022, the report claims, citing company documents and people familiar with the matter. The...
apple privacy

University Researchers Who Built a CSAM Scanning System Urge Apple to Not Use the 'Dangerous' Technology

Friday August 20, 2021 5:48 am PDT by
Respected university researchers are sounding the alarm bells over the technology behind Apple's plans to scan iPhone users' photo libraries for CSAM, or child sexual abuse material, calling the technology "dangerous." Jonanath Mayer, an assistant professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, as well as Anunay Kulshrestha, a researcher at Princeton University...
apple watch series 6 product red back

Researchers Struggle to Use Apple Watch in Studies Due to Sudden Algorithm Changes

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
Researchers are rethinking plans to use the Apple Watch in studies after finding inconsistencies in the data gathered by the device (via The Verge). Inconsistencies in the Apple Watch's heart rate variability data are reportedly caused by Apple tweaking the device's algorithms, meaning that data from the same time period can change without warning. Associate professor of biostatistics at the ...
maxresdefault

Apple Watch's Life-Saving Potential Highlighted in Suspenseful '911' Ad

Saturday January 1, 2022 4:15 pm PST by
Apple today shared a new ad titled "911" that emphasizes the Apple Watch's life-saving potential during emergencies. The suspenseful ad revolves around three individuals named Amanda, Jason, and Jim who were each able to get help by dialing 911 using the Apple Watch, with the ad highlighting excerpts from their frantic phone calls with dispatchers. Amanda, for example, said that her car had...
appleprivacyad

Corellium Launching New Initiative to Hold Apple Accountable Over CSAM Detection Security and Privacy Claims

Tuesday August 17, 2021 1:35 am PDT by
Security research firm Corellium this week announced it is launching a new initiative that will "support independent public research into the security and privacy of mobile applications," and one of the initiative's first projects will be Apple's recently announced CSAM detection plans. Since its announcement earlier this month, Apple's plan to scan iPhone users' photo libraries for CSAM or...

Popular Stories

iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Be Released?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
apple ar headset concept 1

Kuo: Apple Headset Shipments Potentially Delayed Until Second Half of 2023

Sunday December 4, 2022 7:38 am PST by
Mass shipments of Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset may be delayed until the second half of 2023 due to unspecified "software-related issues," according to the latest information shared today by tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple headset render by Ian Zelbo Kuo said mass shipments of components for the headset are still likely to begin in the first half of 2023, but he believes that mass...
Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 5 Exclusive Features

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:55 am PST by
While we're still around nine months away from Apple unveiling the iPhone 15 lineup, rumors already suggest that the higher-end Pro models will have even more exclusive features than usual compared to the standard models next year. There are currently at least five features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17 Bionic...
top stories 3dec2022

Top Stories: M2 Max Benchmark Leak, iPhone 15 Camera Rumor, and More

Saturday December 3, 2022 6:00 am PST by
With Black Friday and Cyber Week shopping events winding down and the calendar flipping over to December, our attention is starting to turn to 2023 and all of the Apple news we're expecting to see. This week saw an alleged benchmark leak for an "M2 Max" chip expected to make an appearance in upcoming Macs like the MacBook Pro early next year, as well as fresh rumors about the iPhone 15...
android apple fix rcs

Google Again Criticizes Apple for Not Adopting RCS for Messages App: 'Their Texting is Stuck in the 1990s'

Friday December 2, 2022 10:54 am PST by
Google is continuing on with its attempt to convince Apple to adopt the RCS messaging standard, publishing a new "it's time for RCS" blog post. Promoted heavily by Google, RCS or Rich Communication Services is a messaging standard that is designed to replace the current SMS messaging standard. It provides support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, and bigger file sizes, ...
maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...