Machine Learning for Hearing Aids

Recently, we went to one of our favorite restaurants. This time the server remembered us and asked how we were. It was nice to have the staff notice us and recall our previous visits. It made me think of movies when someone walks into a restaurant and the waiter asks, “Just your usual?”

It is nice to be remembered.

This is where hearing aid technology is going.

Widex has just released a new technology, Evoke, that will remember what your preference is based on your environment. This leading edge technology is called machine learning. Machine learning occurs when we choose a preference and future options are offered based on our past selections.

You have probably experienced machine learning in other areas of your life. If you have Netflix you may have noticed the suggested movies will change to match your last movie viewed. Based on your rating of movies Netflix will suggest a movie that has a similar theme, emotional style, or characters.

Like all major hearing aid manufacturers, Widex offers an app for your smartphone. At their training I recently attended, they showed how their app is different. On their app, you choose between two sound qualities. You choose either A or B. The amazing part is if you consistently choose B when you are in a noisy restaurant over time your hearing aids will automatically adjust to your preferred choice when you enter a noisy restaurant. This machine learning response is what sets the Widex Evoke apart from other hearing aids.

The question you might have is “how do my hearing aids know where I am?” For years now, hearing aids have been listening to the ambient sounds to determine the best filtering to enhance speech. This is actually common programming. Your hearing aids have listened to where you have been, whether you were in a quiet room, a golf course with a lot of wind, or a noisy restaurant, and adjusted the setting to best suit the environment.

If you are interested in trying hearing aids that will remember your preference, please call me, 941-244-9300.