With Tinnitus Tailor you can generate Tailors, personally tailored audio sounds to tackle your Tinnitus: the app plays random modifications of different sounds and you teach it which of these sounds are useful for you. You can play them back whenever you like and create as many variations as you like. Tinnitus Tailor uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate the perfect Tailor.
It all started with a research project between the University of Glasgow and the Institute of Hearing Research (IHR). At this point Bernd Porr and Owen Brimijoin were teaching psychology of perception at the University of Glasgow and became interested in how people imagine sounds. Emily Tilbury, then a student at the School of Engineering, selected this project as her BEng thesis. Under the guidance of Owen, Emily then wrote software to test the hypothesis. Then she ran experiments where she played random noise to subjects and asked them to press a button whenever they hear either "a" or "e". When combining the responses they found that the sounds just before each response resembled on average either "a" or "e" respectively, even though we never actually put an "a" or "e" sound in the noise. Thus they found an objective way to determine how people imagine sounds:
Brimijoin, Owen, Akeroyd, Michael, Tilbury, Emily, and Porr, Bernd (2013) The internal representation of vowel spectra investigated using behavioral response-triggered averaging. JASA Express Letters. Volume 133, Issue 2, pp. EL118-EL122 (2013).
At this point the idea was born that one could invert the concept from the paper and ask a tinnitus sufferer to press a button whenever their tinnitus perception is reduced while listening to different sounds. Owen rewrote our vowel software for this purpose and then it was tested positively with tinnitus sufferers. However, the software was just a research-program that was not very user friendly. Bernd Porr then decided to turn that idea into a mobile phone app. He became part time at the University of Glasgow and dedicated half of his time writing Tinnitus Tailor.
Owen now works for Reality Labs (Oculus Research) and Emily for Arcus Consultancy Services Ltd.