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Hearing Aids and Artificial Intelligence

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Terri Ellert, HIS

Terri has been in practice as a Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist for the past 11 years and is a co-founder of the Hearing Centers of Arizona.
Terri Ellert, HIS

Latest posts by Terri Ellert, HIS (see all)

Most of us have met one or two people who have experienced hearing loss. Maybe a family member or a friend, a relative, or a work associate. If you know a person who has undergone a hearing loss, you are also familiar with the experience the person has to suffer to adjust to society after their loss. Mostly there are two parts of the experience of hearing loss.

Challenges that come with hearing loss

First, a person experiences the change from hearing to not being able to understand. The experience of loss of hearing is traumatic. Secondly, the experience of wanting to withdraw from society and al that goes with it is part of the whole struggle of losing one’s hearing. A suggested response to hearing loss is to find a support group for help. Once a person with hearing loss can begin to see support with others who also have had the same experience, they will start the healing process of returning to society accepted and ready for re-integration with new learning and coping skills. Next steps? Finding the marvel of hearing aids that address the primary concern in their life. Finding out about hearing aids can easily be found. Below are a couple of government organizations or non-profits that specialize in helping fund people who need hearing aids.

Educational Resources for Hearing Loss Adjustment

Each one of these above organizations can help a person learn more about hearing aids and how they can help as well as familiarize a person about what the hearing aids capabilities can do to improve the quality of their life. Each one of the aids above can help to inform a person with hearing the loss in different ways. A person may be interested in studying about hearing aids and how they work. On the other hand, a person with hearing loss would like to review hearing loss avenues through video, reading, or commentaries from doctors and scientists. It is best to learn from those who have already experienced hearing loss and their experience. Learning from those who have hearing loss is the kind of learning that will come from a local support group. A local support group most likely will be made of 5-10 persons who are adjusting to social life after the experience of hearing loss and are there to support others with the same experience.

New hearing aid technology utilizing AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is part of computer science and is also called machine learning. It is the same kind of machine learning that Big Blue, the IBM supercomputer, used to defeat Gary Kasparov in a chess match. Hearing aid manufacturers are using AI to make better earphones that assist those who have experienced hearing losses. The HearingTracker by SoundSense Technologies is such an AI device that helps those with hearing loss to reset their hearing aid settings once they enter a new location.

How hearing aids can help

Hearing Aids can help those with hearing loss. In the past decade, many advances have already been made by combining hearing aid technology and AI algorithms. Google® Labs recently discovered a new AI algorithm giving a solution to an old problem hitherto unsolved. The answer found by Google® Labs was the ability to create a single tone amid hundreds of vocal signals and to dial down the surrounding vocal tones and dial in the vocal sound needing to be heard. Other AI companies and audiology manufacturing companies focusing on hearing aid technology now have made available the ability of a hearing aid wearer to have their primary language be translated from a vocal input from one of 15 foreign languages and give a reply back to the person in their own style once the original response was given to them in their own language. The person speaks again in their native language, and the AI algorithm translates the message back to the original sender to their native language. These high-level AI algorithms are becoming more prevalent today among manufacturers. Some present-day companies also offer an earphone wearer to have streaming services and control of their Home Control Devices connected to their earphones through using Amazon® Alexis or IoT Home connectivity.

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