Growing a pinna (the external portion of the ear) on their arm and attaching it to their head would be mostly just for appearance reasons, like if someone lost their ear in an accident. However the pinna functions to direct, amplify and filter sound to the inner ear. So giving someone a new one would help improve their hearing ability.
The ear canal is extremely complicated and intricate. I don't think growing a completely new one and somehow implanting it in a person's head is feasible. Our best bet to restoring hearing is improving the technology to repair existing ear canals.
Artificial Intelligence helps Improve the Lives of People with Hearing Loss
CATERHAM, Surrey, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The concept of Artificial Intelligence has now successfully been applied in hearing aids. With the introduction of the new intelligent hearing aid, Oticon Syncro, digital hearing technology is taken to a whole new level to improve users' listening performance in an unpredictable world of sounds.
Artificial Intelligence is used in many state-of-the-art products - from cameras and computer games to car navigation and communication systems. Now, Artificial Intelligence is also being used to help people with hearing loss. The Oticon Syncro hearing aid is inspired by the brain's natural ability to detect and optimise speech while filtering out distracting sounds - an ability that is strongly reduced for people with hearing loss.
"When someone has a hearing loss, they lose their natural ability to differentiate between voices and noise, and they no longer respond quickly to changes in their listening environment. Syncro is designed to compensate for this loss," says Kevin Carlyon, Sales Director of Oticon UK.& quot;Syncro reacts instantly to variations in the acoustic signal to improve people's ability to comprehend speech. This is particularly valuable in environments like busy streets, office settings and crowded restaurants - places that normally pose a challenge to people with hearing loss."
Inspired by the brain
While current digital hearing aids adjust their performance based on predictions and assumptions of how an individual should hear in a given environment, Syncro's goes much further in its imitation of the human brain. Syncro's digital processor makes millions of calculations per second to attenuate noise, accentuate speech and thereby enhance people's ability to communicate. Just as advanced digital cameras take several internal snapshots with different parameter settings, constantly choosing the clearest and most natural picture, Syncro takes "auditory snapshots". It instantly analyses and compares the outcome achieved by each combination of features and selects the most optimal setting guaranteed to provide the clearest, most natural reproduction of voice.
"When a test panel of experienced hearing aid users was fitted with the new Oticon Syncro hearing aids and exposed to difficult listening situations, the results were very encouraging. In tests where they were supposed to follow conversations in background noise they performed just as well and some of them even better than our reference group of normal hearing people", says Kevin Carlyon at Oticon. "In addition to these objective test results, Oticon Syncro users also reported that they could now hear voices more clearly from a distance. They also commented on the much more pleasant sound experience and that they now felt much closer to what they remember as normal hearing."
Oticon Syncro comes in a full range of cosmetically attractive styles ranging from sleek Behind-the-Ear instruments to virtually invisible Completely-In-the-Canal models. The instruments are available exclusively through hearing care professionals.
One in ten people suffer from hearing loss, and untreated hearing loss often causes social and psychological problems. Hearing loss is one of the disabilities that can be treated most inexpensively and with the greatest benefit, and most hearing-impaired experience improved quality of life when they start using hearing aids.
For more information about hearing and hearing loss, visit www.hear-it.org
Oticon, one of the world's oldest and most respected hearing aid manufacturers, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2004. The company was founded by Hans Demant, who was motivated by a desire to help his hearing-impaired wife - and others in a similar situation - hear better. Today, Oticon employs more than 2,000 people worldwide and sells its products via subsidiaries and distributors in over 100 countries around the world. A pioneer in digital technology, the company continues to develop and manufacture the most advanced solutions in pursuit of its vision: To help people live the life they want, with the hearing they have.
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SOURCE Oticon Limited
Edited by The Ratiocinator, 30 September 2012 - 06:13 AM.