Though the term “artificial intelligence” sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, you probably already use technology with AI capabilities. Examples include email inbox sorting, what-to-watch recommendations on your favorite streaming platform and self-parking cars. If you wear modern hearing aids, you may even be using this type of technology to help you hear. Below we review how hearing aids use AI.
What Is AI?
AI is defined as the ability for a machine to simulate human intelligence and perform a set of tasks requiring intelligent decision-making. It does so by following a set of predetermined rules.
Under the umbrella of AI are the terms machine learning and deep neural networks (DNNs). Machine learning means using algorithms, or sets of rules, to sort through data and make predictions and decisions. DNNs mimic the neural habits of the brain with the goal of responding to stimuli the way a person would without being explicitly programmed to do so.
How Hearing Aids Use AI
Hearing aids of the past were relatively simple devices that amplified all sounds evenly. While this meant the wearer could hear better, it also meant loud sounds were much too loud.
Then, technology known as wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) was introduced, which allowed hearing aids to begin to make decisions based on what came through them.
Now, some hearing aids use AI to actively listen to what the environment does and respond accordingly. DNNs allow hearing aids to mimic how your brain would hear sound if you didn’t have hearing loss.
Different sensors act like sensory organs for AI programs. These programs then take into account the individual’s hearing needs as well as the environmental soundscape to turn up important sounds and turn down distractions.
In the real world, like The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, this means the hearing aid focuses on the sound of your conversation partner and dulls the sounds of rides creaking, riders screaming and others speaking.
Do I Need Hearing Aids with AI?
If you live an active lifestyle with a lot of demanding listening environments, you would certainly benefit from hearing aids with AI capabilities. Your audiologist can conduct a lifestyle needs assessment and hearing exam to find the perfect hearing aid to suit your needs. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Hearing Center Silver Spring today.