American scientists have created a machine capable of using electrical signals emanating from the brain to make them interpretable.
When we talk, our brain sends different signals so that our lips, our tongue, our mouths and our larynx can coordinate to produce the desired sounds.
From this observation, scientists from San Francisco decided to create a device capable of exploiting this type of signal to recreate full sentences. This study is a step towards a system that can help highly paralyzed people who can not speak.
This study is conducted by a team from the University of California, who has recorded brain signals from 5 people with epilepsy. Then these signals are interpreted by a system capable of synthesizing speech, giving a fairly comprehensible result.
Previous research in this area has focused on human thoughts while neurosurgeon Edward Chang focuses on nerve signals.
"We exploit the parts of the brain that control these movements. We are trying to decode them instead of talking directly"said Dr. Chang.
This brain-to-computer interface is still not advanced enough nor easy enough to use to help people with disabilities, even if this is a goal set by scientists.
For the time being, it is still necessary to perform an invasive operation to directly connect the sensors to the brain. According to Dr. Chang, there is still no technology that can function and interpret speech outwardly.