Microphone arrays are used to home into a source of sound. They find application in a variety of situations, e.g., conference rooms, video conferencing, virtual personal assistants, etc. When multiple speakers are participating in a joint conversation, microphone arrays tend to direct themselves to the loudest or clearest speakers. The problem with doing so is that the array does not provide timely and sufficient access to speakers with soft voices, accented speech, speech disorders, or whose speech is otherwise difficult to comprehend, e.g., low or unintelligible speech level. This disclosure describes techniques to identify people whose speech intelligibility levels are low, and to give them higher priority during selection of direction by the microphone array.
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Basson, Sara; Kanevsky, Dimitri; and Huang, Yiteng, "Smart attenuation control for microphones", Technical Disclosure Commons, (July 31, 2017)