Speech reconstruced from Brainscans

Wissenschaftler haben Worte aus Brainscans rekonstruiert und in ein paar Jahren werden wir keine Texte mehr eintippen, sondern über ein Brain-Interface in Kombination mit Spracherkennung direkt ins Netz denken. Vor ein paar Jahren hat man bereits Bilder aus Gedanken rekonstruiert, das hier ist der nächste Schritt: Eine Telepathie-Maschine. Einerseits. Andererseits dürfte der Spruch „Die Gedanken sind frei“ bald echt der Vergangenheit angehören. Brave new world.

When you read this sentence to yourself, it's likely that you hear the words in your head. Now, in what amounts to technological telepathy, others are on the verge of being able to hear your inner dialogue too. By peering inside the brain, it is possible to reconstruct speech from the activity that takes place when we hear someone talking.

Because this brain activity is thought to be similar whether we hear a sentence or think the same sentence, the discovery brings us a step closer to broadcasting our inner thoughts to the world without speaking. The implications are enormous – people made mute through paralysis or locked-in syndrome could regain their voice. It might even be possible to read someone's mind.

Imagine a musician watching a piano being played with no sound, says Brian Pasley at the University of California, Berkeley. "If a pianist were watching a piano being played on TV with the sound off, they would still be able to work out what the music sounded like because they know what key plays what note," Pasley says. His team has done something analogous with brain waves, matching neural areas to their corresponding noises.

New Scientist: Telepathy machine reconstructs speech from brainwaves, PopSci: Translating Brain Waves to Reconstruct Sounds and Conversations You've Heard, hier die Studie als PDF: Reconstructing Speech from Human Auditory Cortex (via /.)