The Clarity Project is a 5-year UKRI-funded research project involving four UK Universities and associated industrial partners. Our aim is to organise open evaluations for hearing aid algorithms and to champion novel machine learning approaches to hearing aid speech-in-noise processing.
Currently more than 1.5 billion people live with hearing loss, and this number is set to increase as the global population ages. Yet only a small fraction of people who could benefit from hearing aids have them, and most people who have the devices don't use them often enough. A major reason for this low uptake is the perception that hearing aids do not perform well enough.
We aim to stimulate progress in hearing aid signal processing by organising open machine learning challenges. These challenges will focus on speech-in-noise listening, a situation in which hearing aid users report the most dissatisfaction. For each challenge, we will be providing simulation tools, datasets and baseline systems. Our data and code will all be open-sourced, with the aim of lowering barriers that currently prevent speech and audio researchers from considering hearing impairment. Our funding is also allowing us to evaluate challenge submissions by running listening tests with hearing impaired listeners.