Ever had trouble putting your thoughts on to paper? Now there could soon be a computer that can do that for you.
Scientists believe they have created what could be the first mind-reading computer that can put thoughts into words, the Daily Mail reported.
The computer uses a program that reads brain activity, and could be a godsend for people with speech impairments due to stroke or degenerative disease.
The breakthrough came about after scientists planted electrodes in brain surgery patients, monitoring activity in the temporal lobe, the part which takes care of speech and images.
They then gave the 15 patients a series of sentences to listen to, and a computer program analysed how the brain interpreted and then reproduced those messages.
Scientists believe the program could observe and report what patients were planning to say next.
Robert Knight, professor of psychology and neuroscience, said: “This is huge for patients who have damage to their speech mechanisms because of a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s [motor neurone] disease and can’t speak.
“If you could eventually reconstruct imagined conversations from brain activity, thousands could benefit.”
The findings, released in the journal PLoS Biology, could take mind reading to “a whole new level”.
Co-author Brian Pasley said there was potential for an interface that could read the signals the brain was producing and then replicate them as words using some kind of interface device.
He told ABC News: ‘This study mainly focused on lower-level acoustic characteristics of speech. But I think there’s a lot more happening in these brain areas than acoustic analysis’.