New AI-powered headphones let users filter out unwanted voices

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed noise-cancelling headphones infused with artificial intelligence (AI), which allow users to cancel out unwanted voices and sounds while letting them play selective sounds only.

,Shyam Gollakota, a researcher at the University of Washington known for his proficiency with AI technologies for real-time audio processing, led the team that created a new system designed to detect speech in chaotic surroundings, Tech Times reported.

His group created AI-driven headphones that selectively preserve some sounds while suppressing others. 

This was revealed by Gollakota during the joint conference of the Canadian Acoustical Association and the Acoustical Society of America, which took place at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa, Canada. 

While announcing the amazing feat, he said: “Imagine you are in a park, admiring the sounds of chirping birds, but then you have the loud chatter of a nearby group of people who just can’t stop talking.

“Now imagine if your headphones could grant you the ability to focus on the sounds of the birds while the rest of the noise just goes away.”

Their approach involved integrating noise-cancelling technology with a smartphone-based neural network designed to recognise a spectrum of 20 distinct environmental sound categories, ranging from alarm clocks and crying babies to sirens and birdsong.

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