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Machine translates brain waves into words.

09/10/10 08:06 AM

The idea of a computer being able to read your thoughts and translate them into words seems like something from science fiction. Or fantasy. But it’s happening now. In Utah.

Bradley Greger is with the department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah. He and his colleagues have found a way to translate brain waves into words. They were able to perform an experiment with a volunteer who had had part of his skull removed as part of an epilepsy treatment. They affixed dozens of electrodes directly to the man’s brain and had him say simple words. Then they measured the electric pattern that accompanied those words and were able to recognize set patterns when the words were repeated.

Dr. Greger says this could be a potentially huge development for people who’ve had strokes, suffer from ALS, or are otherwise unable to speak. He says that if all goes well, it could be used on those people within a few years.

He isn’t entirely comfortable saying he’s invented a mind reading machine but at the same time he doesn’t know what else to call it.

Filed Under: science health

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Future Tense becomes Marketplace Tech Report

09/17/10 06:12 PM

Hi everyone. John Moe here. Starting Monday, September 20th, Future Tense will be going by the name Marketplace Tech Report.

Producer Larissa Anderson and I have been working closely with the folks at Marketplace ever since we took over Future Tense in May. It’s worked out great. We’ve helped them, they’ve helped us, and together we’ll find more stories you’ll want to hear. Basically, we loved Marketplace so much we married them. And kind of took their name too. Is it creepy to compare two radio shows to a married couple? Sorry about that.

As part of the Marketplace portfolio of programs (along with Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report, and Marketplace Money), Marketplace Tech Report will keep bringing you stories that explain news and trends and technology and what it all means to you. We’ll be moving to a new simpler URL:, which will go live over the weekend. We’ll be bringing our entire archive of past shows and blog posts with us but in the meantime, we’re leaving up so you can access the show archives from there as well.

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