Scientists invent device that can literally read your mind!

on . Posted in Articles of Interest

TOKYO, Japan (PNN) - April 18, 2017 - A device that can read people’s minds by detecting their brainwaves has been developed in a breakthrough that could eventually enable people with “locked-in syndrome” to communicate.

The system was only partially effective with a 90% success rate when trying to recognize numbers from zero to nine and a 61% rate for single syllables in Japanese, the researchers said.

But nonetheless, a statement about the research issued by the Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan said it showed that an effective device to read people’s thoughts and relay them to others was possible in the near future.

They even suggested an easily operated device with a smart phone app could be ready in just five years.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) was used to monitor people’s brainwaves while they spoke.

The brainwaves were then matched to the syllables and numbers using “machine learning”, a process used to develop artificial intelligence.

The statement said the researchers had “developed a technology that can recognize the numbers zero to nine with 90% accuracy using brainwaves, or electroencephalogram (EEG), while uttering the numbers.”

“At the same time, 61% accuracy in 18 Japanese monosyllable recognition was achieved, outperforming performance in previous research (humans have sufficient intelligibility of sentences with an 80% monosyllable recognition rate).”

The researchers said other attempts to use brainwaves to understand people’s thoughts had struggled to understand what was being “said”.

“Up until now, speech-decoding from EEG signals has had difficulty in collecting enough data to allow the use of powerful algorithms based on ‘deep learning’ or other types of machine learning,” the statement said. “The research group has developed a different research-framework that can achieve high performance with a small training data-set.”

They now plan to develop a “brain-computer interface” that can recognize words that are merely thought and not spoken.

“This technology may enable handicapped people who have lost the ability of voice-communication to obtain the ability once again,” the statement said.

“It is also expected that the technology would give a healthy person the most natural interface without any limitations as well. Furthermore, the research group plans to develop a device that can be easily operated with fewer electrodes and connected to smart phones within the next five years,” concluded the statement.

The statement was released ahead of a conference later this year where the research will be presented in more detail.

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