AI Headphones Can Isolate a Single Person's Voice in a Crowd

AI Headphones Can Isolate a Single Person’s Voice in a Crowd

Look Once to Hear: Target Speech Hearing with Noisy Examples

Author: University of Washington
Published: 2024/05/23
Publication Type: Reports & Proceedings
Contents: Summary – Introduction – Main – Related

Synopsis: Target Speech Hearing cancels all other sounds in the environment and plays just the speaker’s voice even as the listener moves around in noisy places and no longer faces the speaker. With our devices you can now hear a single speaker clearly even if you are in a noisy environment with lots of other people talking. To use the system, a person wearing off-the-shelf headphones fitted with microphones taps a button while directing their head at someone talking.


Noise-canceling headphones have gotten very good at creating an auditory blank slate. But allowing certain sounds from a wearer’s environment through the erasure still challenges researchers. The latest edition of Apple’s AirPods Pro, for instance, automatically adjusts sound levels for wearers – sensing when they’re in conversation, for instance – but the user has little control over whom to listen to or when this happens.

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A University of Washington team has developed an artificial intelligence system that lets a user wearing headphones look at [...]

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