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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Brain Reading Breakthrough

Advances in digitized surgical implants paired with brain-wave-reading artificial intelligence have allowed two speech paralyzed patients to communicate with unprecedented ability, according to a pair of studies published yesterday.

While similar brain-computer interfaces have previously provided some ability to communicate for patients with brain or spinal injuries, researchers say the new platforms approach fluid speech. The two patients are able to speak at a rate of 70 words per minute, slightly less than half the rate of a normal conversation.

To achieve the breakthrough, a machine-learning model was trained by comparing electrical signals in the brain to a large set of more than 125,000 words (see deep dive). The information was then vocalized via speech-to-text software. Scientists say the results suggest a realistic path forward for restoring speech to paralyzed patients in the relatively near future.

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