So... can AI help us to understand people wearing face masks?

There I was, headed to get my favorite treat, some ice cream from ColdStone Creamery. As the possiblities ran through my head, the young woman behind the counter asked.... "mmmwfat, mmeshie mgooliatne" I was immediately taken aback! Was she speaking some new foreign language? Had I lost the ability to speak english? What the heck was she even saying?

Events like this have become increasingly prevalent during the never ending COVID crisis. Nevertheless, there is at least some room for hope when it comes to hearing in some COVID related hearing contexts. This article highlights advancements in hearing technology that use Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to clarify electronically transmitted speech so that there are fewer transmission errors when you are listening to a phone call or a zoom video.

Sadly, I don't think this approach will be applied to mask wearing anytime soon. I'll pose it as an interesting problem that someone smart should try to solve.

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