Watch what you think with a new brain wave looker-atter


Scientists at Berkeley’s Helen Willis Neuroscience Institute are developing a program to decipher words simply by looking at brainwaves. That means, if you think it, the computer can say it.

The Guardian reports: “The remarkable feat has given researchers fresh insight into how the brain processes language, and raises the tantalising prospect of devices that can return speech to the speechless.” The technology is still in its nascent stages, and the audible results sometimes end up sounding like nothing more than glitchy gibberish.

The 15 patients that were tested were also being treated for intractable epilepsy and underwent a procedure that involves removing the top of their skulls and having a net of electrodes placed on their brains. It’s hard to be stealthy when it  comes to removing the top of your skull, so if you’re worried about the impact on what technology like this could have on privacy, you can rest easy for now.

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.

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