Scientists Just Made Mind Reading A Highly-Probable Part Of The Future

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Reading minds has long been a staple of science fiction abilities. Like many superpowers, we’re working towards gaining them via the magic of science. And researchers just took a big step towards realizing it in a system called Brain-to-Text.

Developed by a team from the Cognitive Systems Lab at KIT and the Wadsworth Center in New York, the system basically reconstructs speech by reading a person’s brainwaves. They weren’t just able to identify words, but complete sentences in continuous speech, effectively inventing a system that works like an artificial intelligence telepath of sorts.

In Brain-to-Text, seven volunteer epileptic patients were hooked up to electrodes to monitor speech-related brainwaves while reading aloud sample texts. Recordings from these sessions were combined with the interdisciplinary team’s knowledge in machine learning and linguistic processing, enabling the development of a novel method for taking the brainwaves and converting them into its text equivalent. Being able to read the minds of a small sample of seven people, of course, is far from a legit superpower, aside from the fact that it’s restricted to decoding brainwaves from audibly spoken language rather than actual thoughts. It is, however, a significant step in our quest to develop some of that Professor X swag and gives us hope for a real science fiction future.

According to the team, they hope that the technology will lead to the development of a method for speech communication for patients who cannot verbally communicate, whether due to paralysis or any other disability.

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One Response

  1. Anna

    This is really cool. What is the starting-price? I looked at the demo-video, and it’s very fascinating. Could this sort of technology be used to create AI itself, and used to treat robotic intelligence how to act, react, and one day even “think”? I just recently read an article in which a robot in a car-factory “accidentally” killed a worker by grabbing and slamming him into a wall. It’s a scary thought, and I just wonder if sometimes Man gets too far ahead of himself with it’s technological explorations. The fact that they’re focusing this technology on individuals with disability(s) is very nice, and I look forward to seeing how this technology evolves. While it’s scientifically “impossible” to read someones mind, there may be ways around this. For example, how do we define “thoughts” and purpose? Science as a whole is very subjective, so to see these gains in technology and the world of Science is always a learning experience for everyone.

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