The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than 100 million infections, and more than 2 million casualties. The global crisis spans across 200 countries. Large scale testing, social distancing, and face masks have been critical measures to help contain the spread of the infection. Even with the onset of the vaccination programs, the WHO highlights large scale testing and precautionary measures must be followed for the next couple of years. While the list of symptoms is regularly updated, it is established that in symptomatic cases COVID-19 seriously impairs normal functioning of the respiratory system. Does this alter the acoustic characteristics of breathe, cough, and speech sounds produced through the respiratory system? This is an open question waiting for scientific insights. A COVID-19 diagnosis methodology based on acoustic signal analysis, if successful, can provide a remote, scalable, and economical means for testing of individuals. This can supplement the existing nucleotides based COVID-19 testing methods, such as RT-PCR and RAT.
The DiCOVA Challenge is designed to find scientific and engineering insights to the question by enabling participants to analyze an acoustic dataset gathered from COVID-19 positive and non-COVID-19 individuals. The selected findings will be presented in a special session at Interspeech 2021, the flagship conference of the global speech science and technology community, to be held in Brno from Aug 31-Sept 3, 2021. The timeliness, and the global societal importance of the challenge warrants focussed effort from researchers across the globe, including from the fields of medical and respiratory sciences, signal processing, and machine learning engineers/researchers. We look forward to your participation!
The Track-1 Challenge on Codalab is now live! Click here
to download the flyer.