A team at Facebook is one step closer to reading our minds
A team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has managed to create a brain-computer interface that can decode your speech in real-time. That’s super cool and opens up whole new avenues for restoring speech to those who can’t speak for a variety of reasons.
Before you get too excited though, the team was funded by Facebook‘s Reality Labs, who have a very different use case in mind. They want to create Augmented Reality glasses that you can control without having to speak aloud.
A team of Facebook-funded scientists have created a computer that can read your mind
It feels like every week there’s at least one invention that turns long-established science fiction mainstays into science fact.
Computers being able to read our thoughts is a spooky thought but always was firmly in the realm of possibility. All we needed was a way of decoding the electrical impulses in the brain during spoken dialogue, which is what the team at UCSF has created.
- Context is key: the team used two kinds of information from two different areas of the brain to decode speech
- Brain activity was recorded while those in the study spoke aloud their responses to a series of pre-recorded spoken questions
- Then that data was fed into machine learning algorithms, training them
- Those trained algorithms were then fed brain activity data with the goal of determining if a volunteer was listening or speaking, and to decode the speech
The team will now spend a year working with a volunteer who has speech loss, to see if the research can be applied to improve the lives of patients who cannot speak. As for the AR headset Facebook wants? It’s a long way off, so your wallet (and thoughts) can rest easy for now.
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