Computers Will Soon Type Out Our Thoughts
NO. NO. NO. This can't be good.
I understand technology is constantly advancing, but I don't want my computer to know what I'm thinking. I especially don't want my computer to type out all my unfiltered thoughts.
But it looks like this is the road we're headed down, my friends.
Basically, this means you should probably be careful about your thoughts while you're writing those company-wide emails.
But as terrifying as they sound, mind-reading computers aren't out to get us.
In fact, they're predicted to help those with speech and motor function disabilities communicate better... which is pretty damn cool.
I'm sure you're all wondering how such a groundbreaking advancement in computer technology was discovered. So, let's get down to business.
Christian Herff and Dr. Tanja Schultz of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are the masterminds behind this discovery. They recently performed a study that explored different ways to decode human thoughts and turn them into text.
The two wrote a review about the phenomenon in a recently published journal called "Frontiers in Human Neuroscience."
Apparently, there are a bunch of ways technology can read our minds and decode our thoughts. Herff and Schultz use examples such as functional MRIs and near-infrared imaging, which reportedly detect the activity of neurons in the brain.
But there WAS one method that stood out to the authors the most. It's called "electrocorticography," and it reportedly uses a brain-text system.
You're probably like, "WTF does that mean?!" Calm down, though: I'm about to tell you.
Basically, the method allows technology to read brain signals and turn them into words.
Herff and Schultz conducted an experiment in which epileptic patients with electrode grids already implanted into their brains read a series of texts. During the process, their brain activity was examined.
Thanks to the patterns their minds created, researchers have been able to match their thoughts to speech. Herff allegedly stated,
For the first time, we could show that brain activity can be decoded specifically enough to use ASR (automated speech recognition) technology on brain signals.
Even so, Herff believes the advance is "far from usable in day-to-day life" due to the need for humans to have implanted electrode grids in their brains.
He hopes that technology will someday make it possible to read "imagined phases from brain activity" without the needed implant.
By the looks of things, that day will probably come sooner rather than later.