California: Scientists have developed a new device that can analyze the brain waves of paralyzed patients, who cannot speak, and translate them into sentences on a computer screen instantly.
This mind reading machine has the ability to track the activity of the mind. Experts say that the device will restore the ability to communicate to people who cannot speak or write because of paralysis.
Previous research has shown a similar system capable of decoding up to 50 words. That machine had a limited vocabulary and the user, who was a paraplegic, had to speak words out loud, which required a lot of effort.
So Edward Cheng of the University of California and his colleagues designed a machine capable of converting the brain’s activity into letters that can be used to form a complete sentence.
After building the machine, the researchers used it in patients with severe paralysis who were having difficulty speaking.
The authors applied the thinking of previous research to a more extensive vocabulary by designing this system to decode the association of brain activity with the sound of letters.
In the trials, volunteers produced sentences from a vocabulary of 1,152 words by silently sounding out the letters, with an average error rate of 6.13 percent.
Details about the new device have been published in the journal Nature Communications.