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The brain is unsurpassed in its ability to pick out juicy tidbits and attention-grabbing voices against a cacophony of background noise. Hearing aids, however, stink at this “cocktail party effect”: Rather than amplifying a particular voice by selective attention, they amplify every sound equally.


On Wednesday, researchers unveiled a possible solution — an experimental hearing aid that reads the mind. It uses artificial intelligence to separate the sounds of different speakers, detects brain activity that makes one of those voices stand out from the others, and amplifies only that voice before delivering the sound to the listener, they explained in Science Advances.

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