Researchers have developed an interface that is capable of reading brain signals, analyze them with neural networks, and then using a speech synthesizer to translate simple thoughts to understandable words.
It has long been known that when people say, listen or think about something, the characteristic patterns of activity are formed in the brain. Although scientists have developed various models for decoding signals, the process of their clear playback turned out to be much more complicated. As a result, the computer issued unintelligent words. However, neuro-engineers from the Colombian University recently moved significantly in this direction.
They created a system that translates thoughts to a clear recognizable speech. For this, the researchers suggested people, patients with epilepsy and the surveillance operation, listen to the audio recordings on which figures were made from 0 to 9. At the same time, the signals of their brain were recorded, which handled the computer algorithm for speech synthesis. Next, the sound produced by a voice encoder was analyzed and cleaned with neural networks, such as artificial intelligence. As a result, a robotic speech was formed, repeating the sequence of numbers on the record.
In the course of an objective verification of the results, in 75% of cases, people could understand artificially reproduced words. Next, the team of scientists will test the system on more complex terms and entire proposals, when a person will simply think about it. Ultimately, they hope to create an interface that will become part of the implant, allowing people who have lost the ability to speak as a result of injury or illness, start contacting them again with others. Although, according to researchers, a decade can go for it.
In the long run, researchers plan to develop non-invasive methods of neural recording and improve decoding methods, because they will not all agree to surgical intervention. Technology can also be integrated into various devices and gadgets. For example, a smartphone that can translate the thoughts of the user to text messages.
Startup Ilona Mask Neuralink is also developing its own option.