Facebook has been financing extensive university research on “speech decoders” that are able to determine what people are trying to say by analyzing their brain signals
The research is important because it could help show whether a wearable brain-control device is feasible and because it is an early example of a giant tech company being involved in getting hold of data directly from people’s minds.
The scientists were able to listen in in real time as three subjects heard questions read from a list and spoke simple answers. One question was “From 0 to 10, how much pain are you in?” The system was able to detect both the question and the response of 0 to 10 far better than chance.
Another question asked was which musical instrument they preferred, and the volunteers were able to answer “piano” and “violin.” The volunteers were undergoing brain surgery for epilepsy.
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