Hearing Aids & Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Li-Korotky

Hearing aid technology has advanced significantly in the past few decades. The hearing aids you may remember your grandparents wearing were cumbersome devices that squealed and screeched, unable to adapt to changing environments. With the introduction of artificial technology your hearing aids have advanced far past a level we could have ever imagined when we were kids.

When you start to think about artificial intelligence, it is easy to reminisce back to your favorite sci-fi story. There are countless tales concerning robots with AI who develop their own consciousness for the good or detriment of humans. However, AI is not really that scary but in fact can be very helpful. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of AI around us in our daily life already, from our smartphones to our hearing aids.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes referred to as machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, as opposed to the naturally developed intelligence displayed by animal and human minds. In other words, AI occurs when a computer is able to learn and adapt based on the information it is designed to collect, emulating human intelligence. Machine learning is a way of achieving artificial intelligence for a computer: it is basically training a computer to learn things via data and algorithms.

How Do Hearing Aids Use AI?

Hearing aids are becoming more and more intelligent every day. As your hearing before a hearing loss is a dynamic experience adapting to different environments, digital hearing aids equipped with AI technology strive to do the mimic this behavior.

AI-equipped hearing aids can reduce distracting background sounds in a crowded room to isolate the sounds that you want to hear. As the user indicates the sounds, they want to hone in on, these hearing aids will log and remember the information to make the next experience effortless. No matter where you are, whether it be a crowded room AI equipped hearing aids can decipher subtle but essential speech sounds, even sounds that are happening behind you, and can help you hear in nuanced listening environments like music venues or auditoriums.

Advancements in Hearing Aid Technology

This technology has been developing for several years but is becoming more and more effective at adapting to different situations. AI hearing aids of today now act as mini-computers to sense the listening environment around you and automatically change between settings to help you hear. Now with the normalization of Smartphone everywhere, AI hearing aids communicate via Bluetooth to access some features of your phone including geo-tagging. When your hearing aid knows your location, it can log the data of the listening conditions of the places you frequent most. Another advantage of AI hearing aids is the ability to stream Television, music, radio, podcast, phone conversations and more directly to your ear.

AI Hearing Aids Can Track Health Measures

Another feature that is proving indispensable help, especially for seniors, is the ability to track vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate and brain health using AI equipped hearing aids. Using sensors similar to those used in smart watches, hearing aids will also track your steps, social engagement, and amount of time spent listening and fitness level. This is useful to you and your physician for monitoring your health and settling healthy lifestyle goals.

The Future of Hearing Aids and AI

While hearing aids using artificial intelligence today are truly amazing in what they can accomplish, there is so much more to look forward to in the future. AI promises to bring more innovation into our listening experience making living with hearing loss easier than ever before.

There are already teams of engineers and scientists working on intelligence-powered hearing aids that do more than just mimic real human hearing. They are striving to make hearing aids that enhance your hearing to powerful levels including enhanced voice recognition, faster response times and clearer sound processing. There are already major advancements in in-ear translation, making it possible for people using hearing aids able to hear real time translation of different languages streamed directly to their ears!

As science fiction has made clear, what we can achieve in technology always starts with our imagination. To find out more about what AI hearing aids can do for you, contact us today!

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