It sounds like something out of a Philip K. Dick science fiction novel: a system that uses artificial intelligence to translate people’s thoughts into intelligible, recognizable speech.
But fiction it is not: a team of neuro-engineers at Columbia University did, in fact, develop such a system. Information on the technology was published yesterday in Scientific Reports.
In a press release, Columbia University explained how the system works:
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. (source) …
The process is invertible: