Keele University study 'predicts' kids' autism without consent

Released: July 2019

A behavioural study group on children with autism by researchers at Keele University used YouTube videos used an AI to study childrens' body movements without their permission.

The researchers told The Atlantic that the purpose of the study was to classify the kids' behaviours as either typical or atypical, with the aim of more quickly evaluating 'edge' cases that might normally require lab equipment or invasive tactile sensors. 

The Atlantic pointed out that the children and parents whose data was scraped by the Keele team had not consented to having their home videos used for scientific research.

The paper, which is another example of the use of machine learning to 'predict' innate attributes, was withdrawn 'due to insufficient or definition error(s) in the ethics approval protocol.'

System 🤖

Operator: Keele University
Developer: Andrew Cook; Bappaditya Mandal; Donna Berry; Matthew Johnson
Country: UK
Sector: Health
Purpose: Predict autism
Technology: Computer vision; Machine learning; Pattern recognition
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Privacy
Transparency: Privacy

Research, advocacy 🧮

Page info
Type: Issue
Published: January 2023
Past updated: October 2023