Added features include fall detection and translation.
Headlines often focus on the negative aspects of artificial intelligence, but it has the potential to bring positive changes, especially in the context of hearing loss. Hearing is a crucial sense, and many people struggle with it.
Paul Belting, a hearing aid user, emphasizes that those with hearing issues miss more than they realize. People often hide their hearing problems, leading to a sense of isolation.
Dave Fabry, the Chief Innovation Officer at Starkey, a technology company, mentions that people tend to take their hearing for granted until it’s lost, causing them to miss out on important moments.
Brandon Sawalich, the CEO of Starkey, points out that even teenagers are experiencing hearing loss, partly due to factors like using earpods.
One challenge in addressing hearing loss is the stigma associated with wearing hearing aids, which has persisted for a long time. Starkey is using artificial intelligence to change this perception and encourage people to seek help earlier. They believe that AI-powered hearing aids are not just for older generations; they can benefit everyone.
Starkey’s Genesis AI hearing aids not only improve the clarity of sound but also function as personal assistants, phones, music players, and even have a fall detection feature. They can translate foreign languages and continuously adapt to the listening environment.
For Starkey, AI is just the beginning. They envision predicting falls and offering other health monitoring features. They emphasize that AI enhances human capabilities but doesn’t replace essential human qualities like empathy and intuition.
This approach is attracting younger users as well. Sawalich’s own son wanted AI hearing aids for his 12th birthday, although he got into trouble for using them to translate in class, showing the resourcefulness and potential of this technology.
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