Sign In

Communications of the ACM


Brain Science Helps Computers Separate Speakers in a Crowded Room

Brain Science Helps Computers Separate Speakers in a Crowded Room, illustration

Credit: Andrij Borys Associates / Shutterstock

The mechanics of the human brain and hearing system are providing inspiration for the development of algorithms that could lead to better hearing aids, with researchers combining neural networks and techniques that mirror biological behavior. Yet researchers dealing with the computer science are cautious about pushing the emulation of biology too far.

For decades, researchers in both neuroscience and artificial intelligence have been fascinated by the so-called 'cocktail party problem'. Cognitive scientist Colin Cherry coined the term in 1953 during a project for the U.S. Office of Naval Research while working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to find out how it is possible for humans to "recognize what one person is saying when others are speaking at the same time."


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account