Neuroprosthetics bring us closer to a bright future: a new implant deciphers the speech of a paralyzed man at high speed. Now his mouth, lips, jaw, and tongue simply won’t move. But scientists have implanted a 128-electrode device in his brain to detect signals from the sensory and motor processes that control speech. The patient was hooked up to a computer and asked to say the words on a list. While he did this, the electrodes transmitted signals from the same speech processes through the AI.

The algorithm tried to recognize the words and did so with 75% accuracy! Thus, words directly from the patient’s thoughts are displayed on the computer screen at a rate of 15 to 18 words per minute. Speeds of up to 150 words per minute may be possible in the future. Normally, people with paralysis use devices that record eye or head movements, but the new technology speeds up and simplifies the process. Soon, Neuralink will pull up and reprogram the neurons so that speech comes straight from the patient’s mouth without the help of a computer.

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