Hearing Aids & Artificial Intelligence

Hearing Aids & Artificial Intelligence

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D. Uncategorized

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.
Latest posts by Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D. (see all)

Hearing aids are incredibly smart devices that are designed to strengthen one’s ability to hear. They do this by utilizing technology to amplify and process sounds in the environments you move through on a daily basis. Like most electronic products today, hearing aids have benefitted from advancing technology. Hearing devices are more innovative than ever and feature a range of technologies that allow the user to navigate any context with greater ease and efficiency. Some of the latest developments include using artificial intelligence to produce savvier hearing aids that can easily integrate to the tech driven world we are navigating! 

Technology and Hearing Aids

One of the most common misconceptions about hearing aids is that they are these outdated, big, and bulky devices that are highly visible. But in reality, hearing aids have evolved and changed drastically over the past few decades. They are complex devices that are smaller and more advanced than they have ever been. Hearing aids maximize technology to absorb, and process sound that is collected from a variety of sources, increasing connectivity; enhancing overall user experience. Hearing aids can: 

  • Be paired to your electronic devices such as your smartphone, TV, and speaker which allows them to stream audio directly to your hearing aids allowing you to better hear music, phone calls, watch TV etc. 
  • Use noise cancellation technology to reduce background noise which allows you to focus on what you are listening to
  • Connect to your smartphone and access your GPS. If you have saved locations and specific settings, hearing aids can save that information and once you arrive at a particular place, they can switch to the settings you have already set. 

These features highlight the various ways that hearing aids have been utilizing technology to enhance the quality of sound and possibilities for connectivity in an increasingly digital world. 

What is Artificial Intelligence?

We interact with artificial intelligence daily. Also known as machine learning, artificial intelligence is the ability of computers and “smart” devices to use highly developed intelligence to solve complex problems. Artificial intelligence uses various technologies to respond to the user’s actions, make predictions, and guide user experience. Technologies such as algorithms and history of behavior are applied to achieve particular goals. This may sound like high-tech speak and be complicated to understand but we actually rely on artificial intelligence. Common ways we interact with AI include: 

 

  • Email: AI technology is used to filter through emails and determine what is junk and send those emails to your spam folder. Using algorithms, AI identifies certain words in the email, the sender, location it was sent from etc. and establishes it as spam. 
  • Search Engines: Search engines apply algorithms to respond to a specific search with the most relevant results. Did you know that there are 3.8 million searchers per minute on Google? AI makes that possible!
  • Social Media: all social media platforms use AI to provide a variety of features including: friend recommendations, personalized feed, trending topics etc. 
  • Online Ads: people are discussing this feature more and more as it seems to be everywhere! There are ads that seem to pop up or follow us around on our devices. Well this actually happens because of AI which companies use to identify an audience for their product which is based on previous online searches that you’ve made and your interests. 
  • Other: Netflix recommendations, voice to text features on smartphones and laptops, Siri/Alexa/Cortana etc. 

 

These examples highlight that we use AI constantly and, in many ways, this technology has increased convenience!

Artificial Intelligence and Hearing Aids

AI is relatively new to hearing aids so much is still being explored and developed. But what AI has been able to do for hearing aids thus far is quite significant! Hearing aids can use AI to:

  • adjust automatically: AI allows hearing aids to learn, remember, and automatically apply the user’s settings in specific environments. This prevents the user from having to make any manual adjustments as the hearing aid is able to assess the environment you are in and automatically switch to the already programmed setting. 
  • voice recognition: AI learns the user’s voice and can isolate it from other types of sounds so that it isn’t distorted. 
  • Track health: hearing aids that use AI can monitor physical activity by using integrated sensors. 

These features allow hearing aids to be fully integrated in one’s life, creating dynamic listening experiences! If you’re ready to learn more about upgrading your devices, contact us today!