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Machine translates brain waves into words.

Posted: 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.

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