Though the first signs of autism can appear in early childhood, predicting its occurence at very young ages is difficult. A behavior questionnaire is a crapshoot at 12 months. However, experts say, artificial intelligence might just be the key to making an accurate call.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina have developed
a deep learning algorithm that can predict autism in babies. This technology has a relatively high 81 percent accuracy and 88 percent sensitivity.
Experts have trained the algorithm to recognize early hints of autism (c) Daily Mail
The researchers trained the algorithm to recognize early hints of autism by feeding it brain scans and asking it to watch for three common factors: the brain's surface area, its volume and the child's gender (as boys are more likely to have autism).
During the tests, the AI could spot the telltale increase in surface area as early as 6 months, and a matching increase in volume as soon as 12 months. That's why, it wasn't a surprise that most of these babies were formally diagnosed with autism at 2 years old.
Not a sign of autism, just a baby being funny