Scientists have been working to uncover whether or not humans can communicate with machines via brain activity and nothing else.
Researchers indicate that, because speech is produced in the cerebral cortex, brain waves associated with said speech can be recorded with electrodes placed on the surface of the cortex. Studies have shown that the actual speech can often be reconstructed with these waves, and the appropriate text can then be generated.
If you consider your brain to be a bit like a computer itself, you can understand how the messages and signals it sends out could be intercepted and used by technology and machines. Brain waves can work a lot like other electrical impulses, telling machines what to do, and when to do it. In the case of a thought to speech device, the speech brain waves would tell the device how to interpret the waves, and direct it to generate the associated text so the patient can “speak.”
The Brain-to-Text mechanism is currently based on audible speech, but researchers are using this data as a starting point for recognizing speech that is simply though, rather than spoken out loud.
This information is hugely important both in the medical and the technological world.
For patients who are unable to speak out loud, for whatever medical reason, the concept of Brain-to-Text is hugely beneficial. Humans who have lost their speech would be able to communicate, still, with the actual words they are thinking, solely through thought.
On the technological side of things, the concept of Brain-to-Text is exciting as it represents a combination of industrial and human application. In a world filled with highly complex parts like optical isolators, contrast enhancement materials, and vinyl chloride/vinyl acetate copolymers resins, researchers can sometimes lose sight of the human aspects of design and technology.
Knowing that people can control technology just through though, potentially, opens many doors within the industry. How else can humans use their bodies and brains to control and affect machines and other technology, and what benefits can this provide?
Researchers are still learning more about Brain-to-Text, and hoping to make true thought controlled machinery a real thing in the future. For the medical industry, for technology, and for patients currently suffering without a real way to communicate, this represents a huge leap in capabilities.