Researchers Are Translating Brain Activity Into Speech

It could lead to a computer-generated speaking tool for the speech impaired

Illustration of electrode placements on the research participants’ neural speech centers, from which activity patterns recorded during speech (colored dots) were translated into a computer simulation of the participant’s vocal tract which then could be synthesized to reconstruct the sentence that had been spoken (sound wave & sentence, below). Credit: Chang lab / UCSF Dept. of Neurosurgery

SScientists are getting closer to developing a computer-generated tool to allow people with severe speech impairments — like the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking — to communicate verbally.