Mind Reading Technology Can Translate Thoughts into Speech

5 mins read

Imagine you are on your way home from work and suddenly it starts to rain. At that moment, your eye catches a woman walking right in front of you. She is wearing a red polka dot raincoat and is walking along happily without getting wet from the rain. You think to yourself that you wish you had bought one of these raincoats.

Then you decide to go into a café to shelter from the rain. You open Instagram to relieve your boredom. But what is that? The red polka dot raincoat you just saw on the woman is right in front of you. When you take a closer look, you realize that it’s actually a sponsored post. What would you do in such a scenario? After all, you didn’t say it out loud, you just thought about it. Or has Instagram somehow read your mind?

Social media algorithms seem to know almost everything about us, but fear not, they can’t read our minds yet. After all, it is our data and habits that feed them, and therefore capitalism, for the time being. They promise you personalized experiences as a result of your likes, comments and shares. But of course this situation will change over time.

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Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are a way of communicating biological signals of brain activity that correspond to mental processes. That can collect signals directly from the brain and decode them into a computer, neural prosthesis or patient are systems that can send commands to the support device

No matter how powerful the recommendation algorithms are, we still assume that the thoughts in our brains are private. But recent advances in brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, which integrates cognitive activity with a computer, could challenge this. In recent years, researchers have shown that it is possible to translate a person’s brain activity directly into speech or text using complex artificial intelligence algorithms. So the day when you can actually see what you’re thinking on the screen is on its way to becoming a reality.

How does mind reading technology work?

When we say mind reading or mind reading, many people think of unscientific or science fictional methods, but mind reading technologies are very real. Decades of research have shown that when people speak or even imagine speaking, the storytelling center in the brain is activated.
Thanks to machine learning and neuroimaging techniques, scientists have found a way to observe and then analyze this activity. In this way, they are preparing for a future where our thoughts will no longer need to remain hidden inside our brains.

BCI is a device that allows direct communication between the brain and a machine. At the heart of this technology is the ability to convert neural signals that originate in the brain into machine-recognizable commands.

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The main motivation behind the development of the BCI is to decode the mental processes of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), stroke or tetraplegia, who retain their cognitive functions but are unable to respond to physical stimuli with muscle movement due to damage to motor nerve cells, and translate them into a command or use this decoding as feedback in rehabilitation processes to help patients regain their neural function.

The existence of this kind of technology is promising for those suffering from neurological disorders that affect speech. In other words, this discovery is critical in improving the quality of life of patients with motor dysfunction and enabling them to communicate with the outside world.

Ali Esen

Istanbul University, Department of Mathematics. Interested in science and technology.

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