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AI headphones allow the wearer to listen to one person in a crowd just by looking at them once

AI headphones allow the wearer to listen to one person in a crowd just by looking at them once. Researchers have developed AI-powered headphones that allow users to focus on a single speaker in a noisy environment. By looking at a person for three to five seconds and pressing a button to record the speech, the device filters out all other sounds, even as the user walks around the room. The system called ‘Target Speech Hearing’ then cancels all other sounds in the environment and plays only the recorded speaker’s voice in real time, even if the listener moves in noisy places and is no longer looking at the speaker. To use the system, a person wearing an off-the-shelf headset with a microphone taps a button while pointing their head toward someone who is talking. The sound waves from that speaker’s voice then reach the microphones on both sides of the headset simultaneously. The University of Washington team presented its findings May 14 in Honolulu at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The team is working to expand the system to earbuds and hearing aids in the future.