A recent research study could give a voice to those who no longer have one. Scientists used electrodes and artificial intelligence to create a device that can translate brain signals into speech. This technology could help restore the ability to speak in people with brain injuries or those with neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and more. The new system being developed in the laboratory of Edward Chang, MD shows that it is possible to create a synthesized version of a person's voice that can be controlled by the activity of their brain's speech centers. In the future, this approach could not only restore fluent communication to individuals with a severe speech disability, the authors say, but could also reproduce some of the musicality of the human voice that conveys the speaker's emotions and personality.
Scientists have harnessed artificial intelligence to translate brain signals into speech, in a step toward brain implants that one day could let people with impaired abilities speak their minds, according to a new study. In findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature, a research team at the University of California, San Francisco, introduced an experimental brain decoder that combined direct recording of signals from the brains of research subjects with artificial intelligence, machine learning and a speech synthesizer.
AI algorithms can help scientists process brain waves and convert them directly into speech, according to new research. "Our voices help connect us to our friends, family and the world around us, which is why losing the power of one's voice due to injury or disease is so devastating," said Nima Mesgarani, senior author of the paper published in Scientific Reports and a researcher at Columbia University. "With today's study, we have a potential way to restore that power. We've shown that, with the right technology, these people's thoughts could be decoded and understood by any listener." Neurons in our brain's auditory cortex are excited whenever we listen to people speak – or even imagine people speaking.
That's the aim of a device that could help people control robotic limbs using thought alone – without the need for brain surgery. The device will be trialled in people with paralysis next year. Several groups are developing brain-machine interfaces that allow people who are paralysed to operate a bionic exoskeleton just by thinking about it. These devices decode electrical brain signals and translate them into movement of robotic limbs. Usually, brain signals are detected via electrodes attached to the scalp or implanted directly in the brain.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got candid with the company's intention of creating wearables that can read people's brains. At an ongoing discussion series run by Facebook, Zuckerberg talked about the idea of technology that can translate brain signals into useful information for machines in two distinct arenas. 'The goal is to eventually make it so that you can think something and control something in virtual or augmented reality,' said Zuckerberg, in a the discussion which also included Dr. Joe DeRisi and Dr. Steve Quake of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a medical science research center funded by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Facebook has already been steadily making progress in all of the above arenas, including strides in virtual reality technology through its VR hardware company Occulus, its rumored AR glasses, and more recently through investments in brain-to-computer interfaces. In an undisclosed deal worth between $500 million to $1 billion, Facebook purchased a company called CTRL-labs which has been pioneering technology in the world of brain-to-computer interfaces.