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
10 weeks 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
10 weeks 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
10 weeks ago
1 new notification from Apple:

„Your child is autistic“
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Goldfrapp Avatar
10 weeks ago
CSAM 2.0

Tim: “We think you’re gonna love it.”
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Psychicbob Avatar
10 weeks 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
10 weeks 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)

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