Tuesday April 7, 2020
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New AI-Enabled Software May Translate Thoughts Into Speech

Mesgarani and his team planned to test more complicated words and to run the same tests on brain signals emitted when a person speaks or imagines speaking.

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Artificial Intelligence Bot
Artificial Intelligence Bot. Pixabay

US engineers developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled
system that can translate brain signals into intelligible speech, a breakthrough that may help those who cannot speak to communicate with the outside world.

The study, led by Columbia University researchers, showed that by monitoring one’s brain activity, an AI-enabled technology can reconstruct words a person hears with unprecedented clarity, Xinhua news agency reported.

A team of neuroscientists from the varsity trained a voice synthesiser or vocoder to measure brain activity patterns of epilepsy patients already undergoing surgery while those patients listened to sentences spoken by different people.

AI has the potential to increase India's annual growth.
AI has the potential to increase India’s annual growth. pixabay

Those patients listened to speakers reading digits between zero to nine while recording brain signals via the vocoder.

Then, they used a neural network, a type of artificial intelligence, to analyse the signals, and gave robotic-sounding voices, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“We found that people could understand and repeat the sounds about 75 per cent of the time, which is well above and beyond any previous attempts,” said Nima Mesgarani from the varsity.

Artificial intelligence
The study, led by Columbia University researchers, showed that by monitoring one’s brain activity, an AI-enabled technology can reconstruct words a person hears with unprecedented clarity Artificial intelligence, wikimedia

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Previous research showed that when people speak or even imagine speaking, distinct patterns of activity take place in their brain and those pattern of signals also emerge when we listen to someone speak or imagine listening.

Mesgarani and his team planned to test more complicated words and to run the same tests on brain signals emitted when a person speaks or imagines speaking.

Mesgarani called it a “game changer” that may give anyone who has lost their ability to speak a new chance to connect to the outside world. (IANS)

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Find Out How AI-Based ‘Smart’ Systems Help in Communication Amid Pandemic

AI-based 'smart' communication way to go during a pandemic

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Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based smart systems could play a major role in keeping our conversations on track, say researchers. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Daily life during a pandemic means social distancing and finding new ways to remotely connect with friends, family and co-workers via Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based smart systems could play a major role in keeping our conversations on track, say researchers.

According to the study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, humans having difficult conversations said they trusted artificially intelligent systems – the ‘smart’ reply suggestions in texts – more than the people they were talking to.

“We find that when things go wrong, people take the responsibility that would otherwise have been designated to their human partner and designate some of that to the artificial intelligence system,” said study first author Jess Hohenstein from Cornell University in the US.

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“This introduces a potential to take AI and use it as a mediator in our conversations, for example, the algorithm could notice things are going downhill by analyzing the language used, and then suggest conflict-resolution strategies,” Hohenstein added. The study was an attempt to explore the myriad ways – both subtle and significant – that AI systems such as smart replies are altering how humans interact.

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In addition to shedding light on how people perceive and interact with computers, the study offers possibilities for improving human communication – with subtle guidance and reminders from AI. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Choosing a suggested reply that’s not quite what you intended to say, but saves you some typing, might be fundamentally altering the course of your conversations – and your relationships, the researchers said. “Communication is so fundamental to how we form perceptions of each other, how we form and maintain relationships, or how we’re able to accomplish anything working together,” said co-author Malte Jung.

“This study falls within the broader agenda of understanding how these new AI systems mess with our capacity to interact,” Jung said. “We often think about how the design of systems affects how we interact with them, but fewer studies focus on the question of how the technologies we develop affect how people interact with each other,” Jung added.

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In addition to shedding light on how people perceive and interact with computers, the study offers possibilities for improving human communication – with subtle guidance and reminders from AI.

The researchers said they sought to explore whether AI could function as a “moral crumple zone” – the technological equivalent of a car’s crumple zone, designed to deform in order to absorb the crash’s impact.

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“There’s a physical mechanism in the front of the car that’s designed to absorb the force of the impact and take responsibility for minimizing the effects of the crash,” Hohenstein said. “Here we see the AI system absorb some of the moral responsibility,” Hohenstein added. (IANS)