The Long Search of the Computer That Speaks Your Thoughts


Here is the survey Installation: Mother speaks Dutch as a microphone, while 11 tiny needles made of platinum and iridium record waves in her brain.

The 20-year-old volunteer had epilepsy, and his doctors injected a pair of 2-inch[2 mm]needles — each filled with 18 electrons — in front and left of his brain in anticipation of his recovery. fainting. But a little bit of neural micro-acupuncture is a breakthrough for another team of researchers because electrons are connected to parts of its brain that stimulate the production and production of sound.

That’s the cold part. After the woman has spoken (so-called “speaking clearly”), and after the computer has compared the noise to what is happening in her brain, the researchers ask her to do it again. At this point he does not whisper, imitating the words with his mouth, tongue, and jaw. It is “organized speech.” Then he does it again and again — but not always. Researchers have just asked him to do just that think to say a word.

It was kind of the way people talk, but differently. In real life, we produce thoughts that are indistinguishable from the rest of our brain, the other part of which processes the vocal cords, and the other controls the movement of the mouth, tongue, lips, and nostrils, producing intricate sound waves. . Here, computers allow the woman’s mind to jump on the line. He registers when he speaks – technical terms and “imaginary words” – and he was able to play, in real time, a clear signal made from the signals that emanate from his brain. The words were not as clear as the word. This work, published in late September, is still in its infancy. But the simple fact that it happened at a millisecond-speed rate of thought and action shows a remarkable improvement in the use of computerized brain imaging: giving voice to people who cannot speak.

That failure — from neurological problems or brain damage — is called “anarthria.” It is debilitating and dangerous, but people have a number of ways to deal with it. Instead of speaking directly, people with anarthria can use devices that translate other parts of the body into letters or words; even the eye will work. More recently, computerized brain scans implanted in the neck of a person with a seizure allowed them to interpret imaginatively. handwriting producing 90 letters per minute. Good but not great; The average English conversation is 150 words per minute.

The problem is moving the hand (or index), word formation and tone are very complex. It takes answers, a 50-millisecond rotation between when we say something and we feel ourselves saying it. This is what allows people to control the timing of their speech. As a result, it is what allows people to learn to speak first – to hear a language, to utter a word, to hear themselves utter a word (through the ear and ears, the rest of the brain) and to imagine what we are. to do with what we are trying to do.



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