We’re going to explore AI for the hearing impaired in our latest post, revealing how the latest technological breakthroughs are making everyday life better than ever before.
One of the most exciting developments in AI for hearing loss is in the field of hearing aids.
AI is powering devices that are more sensitive, responsive and user-friendly than ever before, enhancing the lives of hearing impaired people in many different ways.
A paper published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence (1) explained that AI is already being used to improve the performance of hearing aids, automatically adjusting their settings depending on the environment.
Up till now, people using hearing aids or cochlear implants may have struggled in busy environments as their devices amplify all sounds — that important conversation as well as the distracting background noise.
These new AI-enabled devices are helping to identify and segregate sounds, reducing background noise and bringing speech and other important sounds to the fore.
This makes them especially useful in busy environments such as transport hubs, restaurants or generally just out and about.
The authors of the paper went on to say that more work is in progress to offer customised devices that suit the needs of each wearer. These devices will collect data from the hearing aid user to identify sounds that they want to hear and filter out those they don’t, offering a truly individualised service.
If you’ve read our previous blog on apps for hearing loss, you’ll know that there are a lot of choices out there to help make communication and entertainment easier to access. Let’s recap on a few of the apps that are revolutionising how we interact.
Speech-to-text apps transcribe audio when subtitles aren’t available. You can use them for anything from watching movies to chatting to friends to phonecalls. Google’s Live Transcribe is a popular (and free!) app that will help you do all this. Or check out Otter.ai — a tool to transcribe video and audio files, making it perfect for work purposes.
Apps to improve sound perception are useful for people who haven’t had a formal diagnosis of hearing loss but are looking to enhance sound quality, particularly in busy environments. The Ear Scout: Super Hearing app for Android and HearingOS for iPhones work in similar ways through earphones to improve external sounds.
There are lots of other useful apps to help you day-to-day, like sound alert apps to let you know when someone has rung your doorbell. While these shouldn’t replace a formal assessment, they’re useful to give you an indication of where your hearing is at and can be that prompt you need to get a professional hearing test.
And that’s not all — AI for hearing loss is evolving all the time, which means that a whole range of exciting new tech will be at your fingertips soon.
This includes personalised closed captions to customise the captions you see on your screen, sound isolation to prioritise certain sounds and block out ambient noises and auditory assistants — apps that transcribe conversations in real time on your smartphone.
For children who use cochlear implants, AI-enhanced software is being developed that can predict language ability, to help develop customised therapy.
And the latest state-of-the-art hearing tests for everyone are capturing more detail than ever before, helping to direct patients to the most useful devices for their individual needs.
If you are concerned about hearing loss, know that the advancements in hearing health are making leaps and bounds thanks to AI and other technologies, making it easier for the hearing impaired to find a solution that works for them.
With the wealth of AI-enabled aids and apps already available or coming soon, easy, clear communication is now a reality for everyone.
So reach out to us and book a hearing test today in one of Connect Hearing’s 300+ clinics across Australia.
We’ll assess your hearing and can advise you on our full range of hearing aids, as well as AI-enabled apps to help you get back to living a life where communication is crystal clear.
- Lesica N, Mehta N, Manjaly J, Deng L, Wilson B, Zeng F. ‘Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to transform hearing healthcare and research’, Nature Machine Intelligence, Volume 3, pages 840–849 (2021).