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Full Version: Implant Turns Thoughts to Speech
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A team of scientists at the University of California in San Francisco California have developed a brain implant that can turn peoples thoughts into speech. They were able to achieve this by first implanting an electrode into the brain that serves to pick up electrical signal that maneuver the vital components of speaking such as the tongue, lips, larynx, and jaw. these signals then go to a computer which simulates how the mouth and throat would move in order to produce a specific sound. So far this method has been the most successful in having a test audience decipher what is being said (up to 70% of of the words were picked right when given a list to choose from). I can definitely see this new method of speech benefiting those who have suffered strokes, throat cancer, and neurodegerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis. It would also be intriguing to see any of the improvements in the near future to this technology, mainly affecting the comprehensiveness of this computer simulated speech.
This is so cool. If this can be developed so that people who are left unable to talk are able to use it, it can change the lives of millions of people who have been robbed of the ability to speak. In my opinion, the worst thing that can happen after going through the battle of throat cancer or a stroke, or a neurological disease is not being able to speak. Being trapped by your own body while just watching the world go by while you are stuck sitting there silently seems awful. So if the scientists are able to make this into an affordable device, it could really change the lives of those who have suffered a physical or neurological trauma leaving them unable to speak.
Inventions like this make me so grateful for the world that we live in. With the advancement of technology there are people whose lives will be so incredibly changed. One of my uncles had throat cancer and was left unable to talk, and I'm sure that he would be so thrilled to see the new opportunities that others are being introduced to.