For many people, the words “artificial intelligence” remind them of a scene from a sci-fi movie, where a robot comes to life in a Utah State University science lab. But in reality, we see artificial intelligence in a lot of places, like your email inbox sorting, weather forecasting, credit card fraud protection, TV show recommendations on streaming platforms and even your hearing aids.
What Exactly Is Artificial Intelligence?
The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) is used to describe when machines perform tasks and react to incoming data like a human would. They do this based on a set of predetermined rules that they are programmed to follow.
The field of artificial intelligence also subsumes machine learning and deep neural networks (DNNs).
- Machine learning describes the ability for a machine to use algorithms (a set of rules) to sort through data in order to make predictions and decisions.
- DNNs are a type of AI that mimics the human brain in that it responds to stimuli without needing to be specifically programmed to do so.
How Is AI Used in Hearing Aids?
Some of today’s state-of-the art hearing aids utilize AI to help better understand speech in background noise.
DNNs in hearing aids can select speech sounds to amplify while suppressing background noises. They can also identify and separate speech coming from multiple speakers, selecting a primary voice to amplify and secondary voices to suppress.
This feature is beneficial in environments like restaurants and parties. For example, when you’re having a conversation, your hearing aid can amplify your partner’s voice, soften other voices while still keeping them loud enough to hear and subdue distracting background noises like footsteps or dishes.
Who Can Benefit from AI Hearing Aids?
Whether you would benefit from hearing aids built with AI features depends on your lifestyle needs.
If you live an active lifestyle, meaning you have a demanding job, attend a lot of conferences, enjoy concerts and frequent parties, you would likely benefit greatly from the features AI hearing aids have to offer.
If you live a quiet lifestyle, preferring to spend time at home or in small social groups, it may be the case that the price tag of these hearing aids isn’t worth the benefit you’d receive.
Your audiologist will work with you to determine what type of hearing aid and what features would provide the most benefit for your unique needs.
For more information about hearing aids with AI capabilities or to schedule an appointment with an expert, call Timpanogos Hearing & Balance today.