When you think of artificial intelligence (AI), most of us think about robots from our favorite sci-fi stories and films. However AI is already in our lives in many ways we might not realize. While most of us probably don’t have a robot butler, AI is used in our Smartphone, our cars and more. AI learns our preferences and adapts to help make our lives easier. One place where AI has been breaking through is in the newest hearing aids. Advances in hearing technology is helping us adapt to diverse listening situations and connect to the world in ways we may have previously only imagined.
AI in our Hearing Aids
Artificial intelligence has been described as any task performed by a program or a machine that would require a human to use intelligence to complete the task. Modern hearing aids are applying learned information, entered or recorded by you as the user to detect and adapt to the different listening situations that you engage with on a regular basis. AI along with machine learning gives us the opportunity to let our hearing aids do the work we have become used to doing ourselves.
Using complex data collection and algorithms AI can learn your listening preferences to make your hearing aid experience as easy as possible. When our hearing aids adapt for us, we can put our energy into other aspects of our life. The newest hearing aids are becoming faster and more efficient. With faster processing capabilities analog sound becomes translated into digital quicker, allowing us faster response time to conversation and to warning sounds out in the public.
While there are only a few hearing aids on the market at the moment, using AI technology, AI will only become more commonplace in hearing technology. At the moment the Widex EVOKE, incorporates the user’s listening preferences, using AI to make automatic adjustments to programs and settings. The Widex EVOKE uses an app to help you compare ideal listening preferences until it can begin to automatically detect what listening preferences are best for you.
The Livio AI from Starkey is another remarkable hearing aid employing AI to make your listening experience better. Not only does the Livio AI learn and automatically adjust to your listening environments but uses sensor readings from the ears to track your physical and brain health. Similar to health tracking technology worn on the wrist, the Livio AI tracks your activity, heart rate, listening time, body temperature, breathing rate and more in a much more accurate way than a device worn on the wrist. This is a perfect addition to senior hearing aid user’s devices as it can alert you, nurses and loved ones if there is an alarming change to the user’s heart rate or pulse.
Many models of hearing aids already can stream telephone calls, podcasts, music, television programs and more directly into your hearing aids using Bluetooth technology. However using AI, hearing aids are learning to remember your preferences around interacting with the technology in your life and automatically connecting when it has learned is appropriate. Your Bluetooth can automatically send your GPS audio to your hearing aids when you drive so you don’t miss a direction or connect to the telecoil at a place of worship that you frequent.
Real time Foreign Translation
These new features certainly may remind many of us of James Bond or Star Trek. In 2018, Livio AI was introduced with real time foreign translation in 27 languages. Using an app called Thrive Hearing, you can select the language that you would like to translate. Via your Smartphone, you will be able to read what the other person is saying in your language, as well as send the audio translation to your Livio AI Hearing aids.
What to Expect from AI in Hearing Aids of the Future
While AI hearing aids are still rare we can predict that the future will be full of more innovations in hearing aid technology. If you are using older hearing aids and are beginning to realize that they aren’t doing as much for you as they could, it could be time to explore your options. Even if you aren’t ready for AI technology in your hearing aids yet, there are so many amazing advances in hearing aid technology that are guaranteed to make your listening experience more enjoyable.