When you think about artificial intelligence (AI), what comes to mind? For many, it’s something out of a movie, like robots coming to life at the University of Pennsylvania robotics department and wreaking havoc. But the truth is, there are many ways AI can improve your day-to-day life, including boosting your hearing. Below is an overview of how AI works in hearing aids and what new advancements Oticon has to offer.
Overview of Key Terms
Before we get into the new technology, it’s important to understand some key terms.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability for a machine to simulate human intelligence, including making “intelligent” decisions by following certain pre-programmed rules in order to perform a task.
- Machine learning is a subset of AI wherein machines use algorithms to sort through data and make predictions.
- Deep neural network (DNN) is a form of AI that is designed to mimic the neural habits of the brain. The goal of DNN is to respond to stimuli the same way a human brain would without needing to be explicitly programmed to do so.
Some common ways AI shows up in your day-to-day life include your email inbox sorting your emails into categories for you, your “what to watch next” recommendations at the end of a show on your favorite streaming site, self-parking cars and credit card protection against fraudulent purchases. This technology has come a long way, and it seems like we’re only just beginning to learn what can be done with it.
How Hearing Aids Use AI
Hearing aids have utilized AI for many years in the form of wide dynamic range compression (WDRC), which allows hearing aids to begin making some decisions based on sound input.
But thanks to AI, hearing aids can now listen to the environment and respond accordingly, mimicking how your brain would hear sound if you didn’t have hearing loss. In other words, these devices are able to adapt to both your individual hearing needs and the world around you.
In January, Oticon released its newest hearing aid, the first to boast on-board DNN technology, called Oticon More™. This device’s neural net receives input from the “sound scene,” and the DNN scans and extracts simple sounds and patterns, then builds them together to recognize what’s happening. Then the hearing aids balance the sound scene, producing pure and balanced sound.
For more information about the latest hearing technology like Oticon More™ or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today!