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Science & Technology

New brain implant turns thoughts in to speech

By T.K. Randall
April 25, 2019 · Comment icon 13 comments

What if a computer could say what you were thinking ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Allan Ajifo
An intriguing new mind-reading device could prove invaluable for people who have lost the ability to speak.
Developed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, the implant consists of an electrode that is placed inside the brain to pick up the electrical signals associated with the movements of the lips, tongue and lower jaw.

A computer system is then used to simulate how these movements form different sounds and to synthesize audible speech through what has been described as a 'virtual vocal tract.'

The method is a lot easier than scanning the brain for the patterns associated with individual words.
"For the first time, this study demonstrates that we can generate entire spoken sentences based on an individual's brain activity," said Professor Edward Chang who worked on the project.

"This is an exhilarating proof of principle that, with technology that is already within reach, we should be able to build a device that is clinically viable in patients with speech loss."

Some example speech produced using this process can be heard in the video below.

Source: BBC News | Comments (13)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Dark_Grey 4 years ago
This would be fantastic for dogs
Comment icon #5 Posted by Impedancer 4 years ago
I think people would need a shrink if they put the inplant in me....
Comment icon #6 Posted by Taun 4 years ago
Comment icon #7 Posted by Black Red Devil 4 years ago
Hawking would have had a field day with this.
Comment icon #8 Posted by XenoFish 4 years ago
I wonder if it would work on coma patients? 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
Well, if it say all what people think, it would be hilarious !
Comment icon #10 Posted by Taun 4 years ago
It would be disastrous... The little lies and half truths we tell each other are all that keep us from hating and despising those closest to us... "Honey, does this dress make me look fat?" "Do you mind if I go play some golf with my friends this weekend?" A person should always tell "big" truths, but little "white" lies are necessary to keep civilization going...   That being said I would love to have one of these things record my dreams so I could play them back later and try to make sense out of the chaos...
Comment icon #11 Posted by Big Jim 4 years ago
Now they need to devise a filter. I had a sister who we used to describe as having no filter between her brain and her mouth. She was as abrasive as sandpaper.
Comment icon #12 Posted by moonman 4 years ago
It sounds like it only translates what your mouth is moving to say, so secrets are probably safe. It reads muscle signals, not thoughts.
Comment icon #13 Posted by C L Palmer 4 years ago
I think President Trump has one of these, and it's connected to his Twitter account.

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