What is Artificial Intelligence Technology for 'Mind Reading'?
Scientists are constantly working on technological innovations so that artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to “read” the human mind. In March 2023, researchers from Japan recreated high-resolution images from scans of brain activity. Now, another team from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), Texas, USA is developing an AI model that can read minds. They made a technological breakthrough similar to ChatGPT to convert people’s thoughts into text in real-time.
Quoted from the Indian Express page, Wednesday (3/5/2023), the non-invasive AI system is known as a semantic decoder. The system emphasizes translating brain activity into text streams, which has been described in a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The research was led by Jerry Tang, a doctoral candidate in computer science, who worked on it with Alex Huth, assistant professor of neuroscience and computer science at UT Austin. Amanda LeBel (former research assistant in the Huth Lab) and Shailee Jain (UT Austin computer science graduate) co-authored the study.
Part of the study’s discussion is based on a transformer model similar to the one that also powers OpenAI’s Google Bard and ChatGPT. With their latest innovation, UT Austin scientists hope to help people who are paralyzed or have special needs.
As part of the study, three people were examined with an MRI and asked to listen to stories. The scientists claim that it successfully generated texts that were the participants’ thoughts without the help of any brain implants. It should be noted that the technology captured the main points of the participants’ thoughts, rather than replicating the thoughts in their entirety.
Huth says, for a noninvasive method, their findings are a real leap compared to what has been done before, which is usually single words or short sentences. “We get a model for decoding language sustained for a long time with complex ideas,” Huth says.
According to the scientists, the AI system can generate a stream of text as participants listen to or imagine a story. That is possible once the AI system is fully trained.
The researchers are essentially using technology like ChatGPT to interpret people’s thoughts while watching a silent movie or while imagining themselves telling a story. Despite its innovative aspects, the new technology raises concerns about invasion of mental privacy.