AlterEgo - a device that can hear your thoughts

Try to think about something. About anything. Thoughts in your head will form some kind of phrases. Now try to start an internal dialogue. Again, on any topic. It seems to you that everything that you “say” in your head no one can recognize until you say it out loud? Yes, this is true, but thanks to the new device created by an employee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Arnav Kapoor, it became possible to capture your internal dialogue. Even if you are not saying anything at that moment.

Why read minds?

Strictly speaking, the new device does not “read minds”in the usual sense, if you thought about it. The gadget, called AlterEgo, works by reading the smallest neuromuscular signals sent by the brain to the vocal cords and muscles of the throat and tongue. These signals are sent by the brain whenever we want to say something. The device processes the received signals and translates them into words or text. The user hears the processed signal through the speaker or through a device operating on the principle of bone conduction, transmitting sound through the bones of the skull into the ear.

Many people with all kinds of speech pathologies are unable to communicate with other people, ”says Kapoor. My device can give people the ability to communicate again.

Kapoor is currently testing the device onpeople with disabilities in various rehabilitation centers in Boston. The majority of patients suffer from hearing impairment caused by stroke, cerebral palsy or various neurodegenerative diseases with damage to the auditory nerve.

Why do I need a new device

In fact, helping patients with hearing impairment is not limited to. The use of the gadget can be found in everyday life.

Imagine, for example, that you are making a listshopping in your head while you go to the store. By the time you find yourself inside, you will no doubt forget something that you wanted to buy. But if you used AlterEgo, you could “dictate” the list, and the device would make a text file from it.

The potential of the device is simply huge: You can use the system to control smart home devices, take notes during meetings, send text messages without even typing them, and so on. AlterEgo in theory can even be used for simultaneous translation. You “think in one language”, and the system translates all your thoughts into another in real time.

This is interesting: A chip has been created for decoding and reading human thoughts.

At the moment, there are only test samplesAlterEgo devices, but Arnav Kapoor plans to establish commercial production of gadgets in the near future. He has already submitted all the necessary documents for this. If we talk about plans for the future, then the scientist wants to reduce the response time and increase the speed of the device, as well as work to ensure that the gadget is as affordable as possible for the consumer and does not lose functionality.

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