A joint venture between Google and various organizations in healthcare service delivery and research technology is using the power of AI to develop personalized hearing aids.
First announced earlier this year, the project sees the tech giant working with Cochlear, the manufacturer of cochlear implants, Macquarie University Hearing Hub members (NAL), the Shepherd Centre, and NextSense.
Google has said it aims to develop hearing aids that rely on AI to address individual listening needs. Such technology, Google said, will be particularly beneficial for those who rely on hearing aids in noisy environments such as restaurants, live performances, or public transportation.
By using AI, developers will be able to better identify and segregate sound sources, such as a person talking, making it easier for those who use hearing aids to follow a conversation.
The new technology will make a profound impact on those who rely on these devices. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 1.5 billion people now living with hearing loss – and that number could rise to more than 2.5 billion by 2050.
The CDC estimates that $980 is the overall annual cost of unaddressed hearing loss globally.
“With our partners, we look forward to building on this work and designing tools with and for people who are deaf or hard of hearing,” Google said in a statement. “Because as long as there are barriers, we will have work to do.”