Speech Synthesized From Brain Activity

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Scientists are working on creating speech from thought. They can do it now with 70% accuracy.

Please consider Scientists Create Speech From Brain Signals.

Scientists are reporting that they have developed a virtual prosthetic voice, a system that decodes the brain’s vocal intentions and translates them into mostly understandable speech, with no need to move a muscle, even those in the mouth. (The physicist and author Stephen Hawking used a muscle in his cheek to type keyboard characters, which a computer synthesized into speech.)

“It’s formidable work, and it moves us up another level toward restoring speech” by decoding brain signals, said Dr. Anthony Ritaccio, a neurologist and neuroscientist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., who was not a member of the research group.

The new system, described on Wednesday in the journal Nature, deciphers the brain’s motor commands guiding vocal movement during speech — the tap of the tongue, the narrowing of the lips — and generates intelligible sentences that approximate a speaker’s natural cadence.

Previous implant-based communication systems have produced about eight words a minute. The new program generates about 150 a minute, the pace of natural speech.

The researchers also found that a synthesized voice system based on one person’s brain activity could be used, and adapted, by someone else — an indication that off-the-shelf virtual systems could be available one day.

The team is planning to move to clinical trials to further test the system. The biggest clinical challenge may be finding suitable patients: strokes that disable a person’s speech often also damage or wipe out the areas of the brain that support speech articulation.

This is fascinating research. Congrats to the researchers.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (22)
No. 1-9
Murdo McSponge
Murdo McSponge

This is an absoluyte disaster for mankind. Nobody is thinking of the downside of this technology. The possibility now exists that private human thought, the last bastion of personal privacy, will be open to outside revelation, regardless of the wishes of the thinker.

The research behind this awful development is all dressed up in cosy language about helping sufferers "of strokes, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis etc. etc", and I could quote additionally more comfortable analysis of intended benefits. But there is absolutely no reference to the downsides to such technology.

I am sure that every dictator, and strongman, will be delighted with such a development. No doubt the Chinese Communist Party will be hurrying to copy the research with a view to forcing it on the unfortunate Ouija Muslims in Xin Jiang. I guess the CCP's approach will be to require every Ouija Muslim to have a brain implant inserted, accompanied by an appropriate "App" on their mobile phones, which will allow the Communist Party to know at all times, that each individual is thinking the right thoughts.

Mish, if you welcome this technology, in my personal opinion, you're nuts!

Brother
Brother

The decoder could synthesize speech when a participant silently mimed sentences. This is a long way away from recording thoughts from your brain but scary when they go 5g wireless into every home...haha

KnotchoLibre
KnotchoLibre

Well, I think it's already been summed up as a really cool advance of technology, science, and engineering but also a terrifying tool ripe for abuse by governments.

Like all things, there is a responsibility that all things be left untainted. We've been lucky to keep space weapons free since Sputnik (1957) as long as we were able to. Given how long something isn't weaponized these days, I would not be surprised if someone has already made the inquiry of the ability to use this as a means of interrogation.

It could certainly lead to a better lie detector.

Jojo
Jojo

A lot going on in brain research lately. There is also this story: Can't wait to upload my brain to a computer and achieve immortality!

Elon Musk says Neuralink machine that connects human brain to computers 'coming soon' Entrepreneur say technology allowing humans to 'effectively merge with AI' is imminent Monday 22 April 2019

ksdude
ksdude

Congrats??????? Id rather have the few this would benefit stay disabled vs. what this will mostly be used for.

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

Is this urgently needed? Have they completed the tests in Gitmo, yet, or do they have a more noble idea in mind? How about genetically modifying wheat so it has the same amount of protein it used to have before selective cultivation made it nutritionally poor storage of starch.

Jojo
Jojo

Why are my posts not appearing immediately? Are you moderating all posts here? Or just mine?

Murdo McSponge
Murdo McSponge

Not by my book!

OkieNomics
OkieNomics

The brain is a system. Broca's area is where thoughts are converted to speech, and likely the study area of researcher's work. If your private thoughts are a concern, be aware that there is a systemic difference between a thought and the impetus to speak it. Now, I know what you're thinking, but....