MIT’s AlterEgo can read thoughts, hear the voice inside your brain

I don’t want to alarm you, but robots can now read your thoughts or hear the voice inside your head. Ummm… kind of!

Researchers at MIT Media Lab have developed a wearable gadget called “AlterEgo,” that transcribes and responds to conversations users have with themselves in their heads.

Similar concept or idea we have seen a few days ago when Elon Musk’s Neuralink reveals brain implant technology to control devices, but Arnav Kapur (who made AlterEgo) has already shown it off.

Consist of a wearable device and a small computing system, AlterEgo enables users to silently converse with a computing device without even talking or making any recognizable movements. It reads the signals your brain sends to your mouth and jaw and answers the question for you.

Arnav Kapur with AlterEgo
Arnav Kapur with AlterEgo

So, according to MIT Media Lab, you may soon be able to control your TV with your mind.

It uses electrodes that pick up neuromuscular signals in the user’s jaw and send these signals to a machine-learning system which has been trained to associate certain signals with certain words. The device features a pair of bone-conduction headphones that transmits vibrations through the bones of the face to the inner ear.

Headphones do not obstruct the ear canal, which means the system can pass on information to the user without interrupting a conversation or interfering with the user’s aural experience.

By vocalizing internally, the user can communicate with other devices, the internet, AI assistants to receive certain information, or make commands. Users can also respond out loud using artificial voice technology.

In trials involving 15 people, AlterEgo had an accurate transcription rate of 92 percent, according to Kapur’s research. Arnav describes it as an “intelligence-augmentation device.”

A lot of people with all sorts of speech pathologies are deprived of the ability to communicate with other people,says Kapur, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT. “This could restore the ability to speak for people who can’t.”

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