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Old 30-01-2019, 04:24 PM
gary
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Cool Engineers translate brain signals directly into speech

In an article today at Science Daily, neuroengineers at Columbia
University claim they have created a system that translates thought
into intelligible, recognizable speech.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScienceDaily
By monitoring someone's brain activity, the technology can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity. This breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain. It also lays the groundwork for helping people who cannot speak, such as those living with as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or recovering from stroke, regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.

These findings were published today in Scientific Reports.

"Our voices help connect us to our friends, family and the world around us, which is why losing the power of one's voice due to injury or disease is so devastating," said Nima Mesgarani, PhD, the paper's senior author and a principal investigator at Columbia University's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. "With today's study, we have a potential way to restore that power. We've shown that, with the right technology, these people's thoughts could be decoded and understood by any listener."
Story here :-
https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0129081919.htm

"Towards reconstructing intelligible speech from the human auditory cortex"
by Akbari et. al., Scientific Reports, Nature (full paper, free) :-
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-37359-z
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Old 30-01-2019, 09:59 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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We should make it compulsory for every politician to have one fitted during the electoral campaign. Let's call it "transparency".
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Old 31-01-2019, 07:45 PM
Dennis
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Interesting read Gary – thanks for the link.

It looks like in this phase of research, the research team managed to record the patient’s brain activity produced when certain patients where exposed to actual speech, and then correlated the “brain patterns” to the specific speech sounds as input via the patient’s ears.

It looks like future research is looking to focus on “thinking” where the candidate’s brain activity is somehow recorded and then decoded into speech, based upon some kind of existing codified library of words?

In my experience, I know that I can direct my thoughts when e.g. I am setting up my telescope or solving a problem, but I am also aware of patterns of “random noise” where my undirected thoughts just cycle through the garbage of the day’s events and activities.

I wonder about the source or origin of my thoughts as they pass in front of my awareness, and how I then select them to action them or otherwise.

Then there are my dreams – I wonder if this technology could convert the brain activity experienced in dreams into words. Good stuff for psychologists to trawl through maybe?

And, do I own my “own” thoughts as I’m not sure I really manage their existence – do they come to me or does my environment and activities inject them into my awareness?

Now my brain hurts - or is it my mind, or maybe my consciousness?

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 31-01-2019, 07:50 PM
DarkArts
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We should make it compulsory for every politician to have one fitted during the electoral campaign. Let's call it "transparency".
Would it work with brains that small?
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Old 31-01-2019, 08:23 PM
glend (Glen)
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The death of privacy. Do you really want your thoughts broadcast? Sure for disabled folks like Stephen Hawking it would be great, but even they need a mute button I am sure.
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Old 31-01-2019, 09:23 PM
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silv (Annette)
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@glen, cool news! Thanks for posting.

@dennis,
insightful, your thoughts are.
Are we willing to reduce that garbled sub-conscious, imaginative, often intimately shameful, human thought pattern in order to make our thoughts so predictable and understandable that even a machine can translate them into commands?
If communication with the outside world is already reduced to almost zero, having the option to regain some of it is desirable. But the tech wouldn't stop there, would it.

Soon, there'd be basic consumer tech, affordable for most - and soon after that, unavoidable if a computer is to be used. The upper class tech version would include a filter in order to remove unwanted truths from translated thoughts. The intelligence tech version would include antennae for everything, even the removed truths.

And from the age of three, like it was with the iPad, humans would be trained to control their imaginative garble. To be able to control machines. To become more machine-like. To become less human.



On the other hand, being able to read and understand the garble in another person's head, however confusing at first, could be a means to accomplish world peace. Increasing understanding and compassion between strangers.
That's assuming that most ppl aren't assholes/sociopaths/psychopaths but average out being "quite nice" or "a slightly bad person, just like I am" .



In 2014, the world "hello" was transmitted sort of telepathically via email. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innov...ach-180952868/
Back then, the transmission and translation involved the motor cortex. An area of the brain which apparently is "easily" mappable and translatable to machine commands - and vice versa, which is where certain Parkinson patients can benefit from tech.
If we remember the ape pealing a banana with a robotic arm controlled by his brain. Or the paralysed, bed-ridden lady getting herself a piece of chocolate by only "thinking" the movements of the robotic arm connected to her brain?
A-ma-zing.

It's exciting to read that motor cortex is no longer deemed required as a detour on the way towards accomplishing machine-readable thoughts.
Sends shivers down my spine, imagining a 3-year old toddler manipulating a computer with her thoughts - like when we saw the ease of use of the iPad demonstrated 8 years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT4EbM7dCMs
That would mean a true loss of diversity. Diversity - i.e. loss of human individuality which doesn't fit into the cells of an Excel workbook.
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Old 31-01-2019, 09:33 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silv View Post
On the other hand, being able to read and understand the garble in another person's head, however confusing at first, could be a means to accomplish world peace.
https://youtu.be/SSUXXzN26zg
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:32 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silv View Post
On the other hand, being able to read and understand the garble in another person's head, however confusing at first
Dangerous territory.

Might be useful for outing deliberate liars, starting with politicians...

But ... do you really want to know what your significant other REALLY thinks ? Or your kids ? I suggest you might not.

Now add those affected with dementia, alzheimers, schizophrenics, paranoid types, and a good half dozen other mental diseases (but haven't been diagnosed) ... perhaps better not to know what's really going on in there.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:28 PM
Dennis
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Looking around the world today, it appears that humanity in general is not coping very well with, or making the best use of, the thoughts “existing” in their own heads, let alone opening the door to becoming aware of thoughts in other folks’ heads.

At what stage would you cease to be “you” should you extend your awareness to incorporating the thoughts of “other selves” into the "self" you define as "you".

Once water is mixed with water…

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:42 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Well, try working in an open-plan office (so-called "Agile working").

The constant background verbal chatter is really annoying.

Last thing i want to the same drivel foisted upon me electronically.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:28 PM
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Hi Dennis,

Quote:
today, it appears that humanity in general is not coping very well with, or making the best use of, the thoughts “existing” in their own heads, let alone opening the door to becoming aware of thoughts in other folks’ heads.
I like the way you think. And I agree with you.

I've put in some thoughts now and conclude that it would benefit the human race to have an off-switch in such a transmitter/antenna.
But an off-switch would render the usefulness re world peace to null.
So... first a version without switch. To make a generation accomplish world peace and to engrave the hows and whys into the hive memory: cooperation and compromise through compassion - by actual understanding and being understood.

I would hope that during this first stage, the ~1 to 10% of human population who are sociopaths and psychopaths can be prevented from a) procreation and b) from seeding new sociopathic growth in their victims.

Having accomplished the weeding-out of psycho- and sociopaths within a generation or two, the off-switch would have to be introduced. So that people can choose when to share their most intimate personality with others.

The hive memory then still provides the knowledge that all people are basically quite nice and aggression is first a symptom of fear - before it can become an addiction-like behavioural pattern. But falling into such a pattern should have become unnecessary by then due to no more "sociopathic seeds" among people.

Why introduce the off-switch?
During the phase of no-switch, all people would guard their emotions, control emotions and the resulting thoughts by self-censoring. In mid-stage of the no-switch project, some would aim for no thoughts, even, just to reduce the chatter. And people would cluster around other people who have accomplished silencing their chatter.

Through that, they'd lose [some of] the ability to associate subconscious motivation with action.

The reason why a scientist or inventor or optimiser nowadays doesn't stop working towards answering a specific question lies in their subconscious motivation. A motivation to strive towards a cocktail of feel-good neurotransmitters which stems from a subconscious memory in childhood that a sudden understanding of stuff, a sudden knowing of stuff is rewarded by a parental authority with hugs&kisses or a Mars bar or something.

In the first generation of no-off-switch, a person is geared towards self-control which also and inevitable makes the subconscious motivation wean.
Not good.
Diversity and progress would suffer bigly.

Also falling in love would turn out to be solely due to a narrative in the mind and some oxytocin. Not a result of the loved one being somehow more worthy of our love than others.
That's too much knowledge and not beneficial to the species.

That's the negative fallout I foresee of the species-wide compassion-through-actual-understanding without off-switch in the transmitter.

I propose a non-deletable timer in the firmware that enables the off-switch 80 or 90 years from the first mandatory, worldwide, simultaneous implementation.

Oh.. I just detected a hickup: people who become parents about 40 years into the project might not have experienced the moments of hugs&kisses or Mars bars in their own childhood. Due to their own parents trying to subdue and self-censor and clustering around other people who also have accomplished the no-chatter self-censorship.

Hm. So ... the generation being born 40 years into the project will be raised without the model of irrational parental love and pride. And their brains won't establish the synapses and feel-good-neurotransmitter cocktails which are essential for individual motivation and individual action. Hence they won't be able to raise their own children with that, either...
The cut-off date 80-90 years after introduction would see mankind as lethargic, immobile mass, depressive. Unable to ignite longing for feel-good moments in their offspring.
Hm.

Interesting. I'd really like to read a loong novel about the developments of people and society.
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