Machine-Learning Device Offers New Hope for Voice Restoration

UCLA researchers unveil a small patch-like gadget leveraging machine learning to aid those with voice disorders, restoring their ability to speak.

By Sunil Sonkar 2 Min Read
2 Min Read
Machine-Learning Device Offers New Hope for Voice Restoration

Machine learning seems to be in the forefront in developing things of convenience in this fast-evolving digital era. Lately, UCLA researchers have developed something to ease the lives of such individuals who are struggling with voice disorders. The innovative gadget, which is just the size of a small patch, aims to help those who are having vocal cord issues and they can regain their ability to speak.

The gadget is designed to be worn on the skin outside the throat. It utilizes advanced technology to interpret signals from the laryngeal muscles and thereafter converts the signals into audible speech. The accuracy is about 95 percent.

The gadget has been developed by the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and it basically is equipped with two important components. One is that it autonomously senses muscle movements and translate these into precise electrical signals. These signals are further processed by a machine-learning algorithm and converts into understandable speech signals. The second component is an actuation unit. It transforms the signals into the intended voice expression.

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The device is user-friendly and non-invasive. It weighs just around 7 grams and its thickness of only 0.06 inches. It can be comfortably worn with biocompatible double-sided tape. It offers a wearable, non-invasive option for patients to communicate effectively. It is useful in both the cases, either before treatment for voice disorders or after it.

Trials were conducted with eight healthy individuals and resulted with impressive effectiveness. Participants were asked to silently and loudly say various sentences. The correctness was 95 percent.

The device is set to revolutionize voice restoration and is being considered as a significant leap forward in assisting individuals with voice abnormalities to communicate with ease and confidence.

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