"Artificial intelligence can tell how well people have been sleeping from the way they walk, according to a research team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
Professor Zhu Tingshao and colleagues at the Institute of Psychology have developed an accurate method of determining sleep quality through its impact on gait, with the help of a machine learning algorithm and a video game component, according to a paper published by online scientific journal PLOS One.
Zhu and his team found upper body parts – such as head and shoulders – betrayed more about a person’s lack of sleep than lower parts like hips and legs. The researchers claim their method could flag the number of people in a crowd who have had insufficient sleep, providing a low cost way for public health authorities to measure the scale of a growing health problem, leading to more timely and effective policies to address the issue.
“This new technology could be a useful item in our toolkit,” said Huo, who was not involved in the study.
But Huo cautioned that remote sensing could also infringe on rights to privacy. There could be moral issues if governments or businesses used the method to collect a large database of people’s sleep conditions without telling them, he said.
“We would need a new law to protect citizens,” Huo said."
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