For the first time, scientists have found a way to feasibly interpret the inner monologue of our minds in an effort to aid those who are otherwise unable to speak.
Each participant was asked to read the text aloud, read it silently in their head and then do nothing. While they read the text out loud, the team worked out which neurons were reacting to what aspects of speech and generated a personalised decoder to interpret this information. The decoder was used to create a spectrogram – a visual representation of the different frequencies of sound waves heard over time. As each frequency correlates to specific sounds in each word spoken, the spectrogram can be used to recreate what had been said. They then applied the decoder to the brain activity that occurred while the participants read the passages silently to themselves.” — via New Scientist
Despite differences in real and imaged speech, the decoder was able to accurately interpret the thoughts of participants on several occasions.
As this technology continues to improve, other scientists are working to reproduce images, concepts, and even movie clips through their interaction with neurons in the brain. This, however, not only has implications for disabled individuals, but also for standard communication, pirating, business and much more.
- What potential uses do you see for this technology?
- How do you think this will impact human interaction?
- Could this be misused?
- Could this technology be a two way street?