AI can now read the thoughts of paralysed patients as they imagine they are writing

By Daphne Leprince-Ringuet: For More Info, Go Here…

A team of neuroscientists has demonstrated that an algorithm could be trained to recognise the mental preparation for the act of writing letters, and that it could be twice as effective as existing technologies.

Handwriting is becoming a rare skill in the digital age. But researchers have now discovered a new application that could significantly improve the way tetraplegic people, who are often also unable to speak, communicate with the outside world.

Writing, since it’s a movement, requires a certain cerebral organization that has already been located in previous studies as happening in the primary motor cortex. This ‘preparatory state’ to the act of writing is what the researchers used for their new tool.

Because letters have distinct trajectories, the attempt to write — even if only a mental one — triggers types of brain activity that are different enough to be separately recorded via microelectrodes and used to train a neural network.

The computer read the volunteer’s sentences with 92% accuracy at a speed of 66 characters per minute, according to the neurologists.

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