Hearing Aids & Artificial Intelligence

Hearing Aids and Artificial Intelligence

In Hearing Aid Technology, Hearing Aids by Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A

Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A
Latest posts by Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A (see all)

For those who suffer hearing loss, experiencing the world is quite different from people who have normal hearing. First, a person who suffers hearing loss has to overcome both a physical and psychological barrier. The physical barrier will vary if they still have partial hearing. A more substantial support system will be necessary if they have experienced complete loss of hearing. Furthermore, often the person who suffers a hearing loss will suffer some kind of loss of self-esteem and may fear being stigmatized by the physical loss they have undergone. Loss of self-esteem can be regained by becoming part of a support group that helps individuals work thru the loss rather than recede into themselves alone for help.

Can a Hearing Aid Help?

When a person who suffers hearing loss, they may consider finding support by getting a hearing aid device. There are many programs on the state and national level that work together to assists people who suffer hearing loss and find they now need hearing aid help. They will be educated to see how hearing aids have been assisting millions of people for over two centuries, since the 18th century. Many world leaders and celebrities both in the past and in the present have relied upon hearing aids to help them fulfill their duties in everyday life. Presidents as Theodore Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford all suffered hearing loss during their presidency and found support in the hearing aids being developed.

Hearing Aids Are Growing Smarter with the Integration of Artificial Intelligence

In 1996 artificial intelligence (AI) was first introduced to the hearing aid industry. AI had capabilities that could positively influence the use of AI to help people with hearing loss live better lives. AI is built upon the ability of computers to access and run an algorithm when it encounters specific data given to it. The algorithm in turn as an artificial intelligence applied to a specific problem that it learns to solve at a high success rate. For example, recently the company SoundSense Learn technology began using AI and incorporated them into their hearing aid technology. One of these algorithms is called HearingTracker. Persons wearing the HearingTracker hearing aid only need to go from one location to another in their regular day and the HearingTracker AI hearing aid will automatically adjust the settings of the hearing aid to meet their needs. In short, the AI algorithm learns to understand what is the normal setting that is sufficient and when it detects a change in the acoustic space of the new location adjusts the settings automatically in a new location.

Google® Labs and Future of Hearing Aid AI

Google Labs has recently made a discovery that if applied to Hearing Aids Technology will significantly enhance the life of a person who needs a hearing aid. The scientists at Google have found out how to solve an age-old problem with hearing aids. A hearing aid needs to have the ability to filter noises from a given set of data and enhance what it needed for the person listening thru the data coming in. This discovery will enable a person with hearing loss to distinguish someone addressing them from within a large group of people in conversation in a room.

Further Advances in AI and Hearing Aid Manufacturing

At present there have been several AI contributions added to hearing aids giving greater degree of comfort to those who wear hearing aids. People wearing hearing aids can now detect a fall or stream music or notifications from their phone as well as control specific devices in their home from within their hearing aid with the help of AI. A person with an AI enabled hearing aid can use the Amazon Alexa® from within their hearing aid as well as control different appliances or switches in their Smart Technology in their home that are IoT enabled. As AI and Hearing Aid Manufacturers begin to collaborate more and more and add new abilities to hearing aid technology the future of AI Exploration and Development into other medical treatments presently gives great promise for the future to those who are learning to cope with hearing disabilities.