New brain implant will turn the thoughts of paralyzed people into speech

Scientists at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York have developed a new version of the brain-computer interface, which is designed to decipher the thoughts of paralyzed people. But not all in a row, but those that are formed when a person is going to say something. In fact, this system should help to vocalize what, due to the patient's illness, he cannot pronounce himself.

Technically, the system consists of a set of electrodes for scanning the activity of certain areas of the brain and a set of algorithms for deciphering them. The system can be made mobile by replacing the cap with electrodes with an implant, but so far the efforts of scientists are aimed at improving methods for decoding signals. In its current form, this device is very "tongue-tied", it does not understand letters and sounds - and even recognizes only the simplest words, with a lot of errors.

The main advantage of such an interface at this stage is that it allows you to accurately determine whether a paralyzed patient has conscious thoughts. Is he in a coma, or is he just asleep, thirsty or in pain? Theoretically, if a person's condition is more or less bearable, but his muscles do not obey, he can use this interface to communicate with the outside world through simple phrases. "Hello", "I want to eat", "Turn me over", "Open the window", "How are you?" etc.

Alas, the creation of a kind of analogue of the hearing aid, which you can simply put on and hear the voiced thoughts again, is out of the question. Scanning signals from the outside always creates interference, and the placement of complex, functional implants in the brain itself is still beyond the control of modern medicine. The risks of complications are too high, and the brain surgery itself is also extremely expensive, not many patients are able to survive them and return to normal life. But when everything changes, we will already have the necessary tools to turn thoughts into speech.