Sunday, October 1, 2023

A paralyzed woman was able to speak 20 years later thanks to AI

Nearly two decades ago, Ann Johnson, who was 30 years old, suffered a stroke and, although she survived, was paralyzed and unable to speak, known as locked-in syndrome, according to MSD manuals.

Gradually, Johnson regained the ability to breathe independently, move his neck, and blink, but After 18 years, his brain has not regained the ability to move the muscles necessary to speak more than a few words.

With the help of a new brain implant based on artificial intelligence, This woman became the first patient to successfully use the new neurotechnology that synthesizes speech and facial expressions from brain signals. according to the project’s researchers.

In a study published in NATURE Last month, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley detailed their findings after implementing a thin layer of 253 electrodes in Johnson’s brain and adapt the technology to make it possible to read his brain signal.

Neurotechnology uses artificial intelligence to decode the signals in the woman’s brain as she tries to speak. Although your muscles are not moving, your brain sends an understandable signal to the electrodes, which decode what you are trying to say and synthesize speech and facial expressions. using a computer-generated avatar.

Thanks to the implant, the patient can speak 80 words per minute

Johnson, who suffered no cognitive or sensory deficits after the stroke, was previously able to communicate 14 words per minute with your old typing method that used a device that responds to small head movements, detailed in an article from the University of California, San Francisco about the advance.

The speed has more than increased thanks to AI: With the new implant, his digital avatar speaks nearly 80 words per minute.

“Our goal is to re-establish a full, physical form of communication, which is the most natural way to speak to others,” said Dr. Edward Chang, professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, in the publication. UCSF in research.

“These advances bring us closer to making this a real solution for patients,” the statement emphasized. Chang did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Business Insider.

Although researchers at UCSF and UCB say that Johnson’s case is a scientific first for allowing people with locked-in syndrome to communicate using neurotechnology two researchers from the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Austria admitted last year that they had achieved a very similar success.

Although their results working with a 34-year-old man with ALS to recover his ability to speak were good, the Austrian researchers found a paper on the subject that had been withdrawn before and “many cases of scientific malpractice” identified in the research. 2019 by the German Research Foundation (DFG), which funded part of the work.

Despite the controversy and ethical problems facing neurotechnology groups such as the United Nations point to developments in the public and private sectors as one of the fastest growing fields with the potential to improve human life.

A new sense of purpose

For Johnson the benefits of participating in the UCSF project go beyond offering you the opportunity to speak again after years of not being able to do so.

“When I was in the rehabilitation hospital, the speech therapist didn’t know what to do,” the patient told UCSF. “Being part of this studio gives me a sense of purpose, I feel like I’m contributing to society. I feel like I have a job again. It’s amazing that I’ve lived this long; this studio allows me to truly live while I live!” !”.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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