Yet another example of how the world is becoming more and more like a science fiction story every day. Researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Laboratory have developed a sensor system that can read your thoughts.
When we speak aloud, we’re forcing air past the larynx and tongue, sculpting words using the articulator muscles in the mouth and jaw. But these muscles go into action regardless of whether air is sent past them. All you have to do is say the words to yourself and you’re sending weak electrical currents from your brain to the speech muscles. Jorgensen’s trick is to record those signals (known as electromyograms), process them with statistical algorithms and compare the output with prerecorded signal patterns of spoken words, phrases and commands. When there’s a match, the unspoken turns into speech.
Sounds almost unbelievable, but this technology is well into the real-world development phase. It has been used to control a car driving round a computer-simulated city, and to perform Google searches without the need for speech or keystrokes. This having been said, it’s still in its infancy. But when you consider that audible speech recognition software is 95% accurate nowadays, it probably won’t take them long to crack it…especially once the military brass and the games industry decide that it’s worth investing in.
Link recieved silently from Metafilter.