Scientists have developed a groundbreaking ‘speech prosthetic,’ cramming tiny sensors into a postage stamp-sized space to read the electrical signals controlling speech muscles.
The technology aims to predict the sounds a person is trying to make, opening the door to communication for individuals unable to speak due to neurological conditions. The electrode array, tested in patients without speech impairment during surgery, recorded brain activity in the speech motor cortex as patients repeated non-words. Although accuracy varied, the decoder achieved an impressive average accuracy rate of 40% based on just a 90-second sample, outperforming existing technology that requires hours of data.
The breakthrough could revolutionize communication tools for individuals with motor disorders, offering a faster and less cumbersome alternative to existing methods.