Meet Sleep Cycle’s machine learning engineer Maria Larsson, recently featured in Apple’s ‘Simply Outstanding Women’ segment
Maria Larsson, machine learning engineer at Sleep Cycle, is driven by a strong desire to improve life for others through technology and innovation. She was recently in the spotlight for being featured in Apple’s first segment of ‘Simply Outstanding Women’, which aims to bring attention to women and non-binary people and their contributions to the iOS app economy. Maria’s work on Sleep Cycle’s latest ‘Who’s snoring?’ feature was key to her selection. Find out more about Maria and her work at Sleep Cycle.
It was delightful, yet no surprise to see the inclusion of Maria Larsson, machine learning engineer at Sleep Cycle, on Apple’s coveted line-up of top female talent in European tech.
Maria has led the task force on Sleep Cycle’s latest strategic feature, ‘Who’s snoring?’ where she applied machine learning models to distinguish between snoring sounds from two or more people sharing a bedroom. With several million users choosing to share their data with Sleep Cycle, Maria was able to tackle the complex task of training a model that can differentiate between people’s snoring using few-shot-learning. The novel solution is now patented. For the user, this will allow a more accurate picture of their sleep health.
Snoring, often dismissed as a nuisance only to the person sharing the room, can actually be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea and is linked to a wide range of other negative health-related issues. Providing the user with a comprehensive sleep analysis and letting them know where the snoring is coming from is the first step for them to implement the right measures for their sleep health and overall wellbeing.
Maria is a master’s graduate in computer engineering with a focus on algorithms from Chalmers University of Technology and has a lengthy experience in data engineering, data science and machine learning. Maria’s work at Sleep Cycle involves developing innovative machine-learning solutions to complex problems.
“I have a strong desire to help others through innovation and at Sleep Cycle I feel I can give people worldwide access to tools that will enable them to sleep and feel better. Technically what we’ve created with ‘Who’s snoring?’ is an interesting solution to a rather difficult problem”
Furthermore, she shares that the more she’s worked with ML, the more she’s realized how many cool things you can build with it, so Maria has offered workshops to encourage other women to code and try something new in a safe space.
“With a lot of technology, there’s a bias towards male usage. For example, I used to work for a camera company, but the camera handle wasn’t made for small hands. More women are needed in order to re-shape technology and increase its appeal to underrepresented users”
What can you do if you’re interested in learning more about ML and problem-solving?
Maria recommends courses on the most-used algorithms and checking out platforms such as Kaggle where you can create your own projects.
“It’s like ‘Here’s data, here’s a problem – please fix it’ and then there are prizes for the best solutions.”
We look forward to seeing more Maria’s unique solutions in the near future in Sleep Cycle’s app. The ‘Who’s snoring?’ feature will complement existing tools such as the popular Smart Alarm, sleep tracking and analysis through sound or motion detection, sleep music and meditations. It will initially be available on the iOS platform.