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A Device to Help Speechless Speak their Mind

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Published on : Apr 26, 2019

Here is a good news for those suffering from a severe medical condition. Scientists have successfully redeveloped vocal capabilities of a healthy human being. They were able to achieve this tapping into the brain of a healthy human subject. This innovation is a step in the quest of helping medically unfit people. However, the technology is still not ready for real-life application, yet, it’s a “big leap towards helping mankind”.

Edward Chang, the principal researcher, it was amazing to see that for the first time his team decoded sentences based on the thoughts and brain activities. The results of the study are proof that with technology scientists can develop a device that can help a patient with speech loss.

How Scientists Gave Words to the Thoughts?

The innovation is nothing like a magic machine. It is a complex device that decodes the action of your vocal cords and frames words and sentences. In the experiment, Gopala Anumanchipalli implanted number of electrode arrays into subject's brain. These subjects spoke loudly allowing scientists to monitor the movement of their motor cortex.

After collecting sufficient data on how muscles move, scientists conducted the same procedures with virtual models and machine learning algorithm. Then, researchers synchronized and mapped the thoughts with recordings of the mouth.

As a result, scientists were able to generate synthetic speech, not crystal clear, but, certainly understandable. So, when tuned properly, a speechless patient can speak up to 150 words per minutes.

Scientists have a long way to go before perfectly imitating the language using a complex devices. However, the level of accuracy in this experiment has risen hopes of a speech impairment patient to have a better life.

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