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Brain Sciences


The development of noninvasive and cost-effective methods of detecting Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is essential for its early prevention and mitigation. We optimize the detection of AD using natural language processing (NLP) of spontaneous speech through the use of audio enhancement techniques and novel transcription methodologies. Specifically, we utilized Boll Spectral Subtraction to improve audio fidelity and created transcriptions using state-of-the-art AI services—locally-based Wav2Vec and Whisper, alongside cloud-based IBM Cloud and Rev AI—evaluating their performance against traditional manual transcription methods. Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifiers were then trained and tested using GPT-based embeddings of transcriptions. Our findings revealed that AI-based transcriptions largely outperformed traditional manual ones, with Wav2Vec (enhanced audio) achieving the best accuracy and F-1 score (0.99 for both metrics) for locally-based systems and Rev AI (standard audio) performing the best for cloud-based systems (0.96 for both metrics). Furthermore, this study revealed the detrimental effects of interviewer speech on model performance in addition to the minimal effect of audio enhancement. Based on our findings, current AI transcription and NLP technologies are highly effective at accurately detecting AD with available data but struggle to classify probable AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a prodromal stage of AD, due to a lack of training data, laying the groundwork for the future implementation of an automatic AD detection system.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.