Mind-reading technology can now transcribe people’s thoughts in real-time based on the blood flow in their brain.
A study put three people in MRI machines and got them to listen to stories.
For the first time, researchers claim, they produced a rolling text of people’s thoughts, and not just single words or sentences, without using a brain implant.
The mind-reading technology did not exactly replicate the stories, but captured the main points.
The breakthrough raises concerns about ‘mental privacy’ as it could be the first step in being able to eavesdrop on others’ thoughts.
Using technology similar to ChatGPT, the technology also interpreted what people were seeing when they watched silent films, or their thoughts as they imagined telling a story.
Researchers exposed patients to thousands of hours of podcasts to determine a link between words and brain activity. Then, they asked the participants to either tell a story or recap and react to a news article
Researchers found that they could be able to read a person’s thoughts with around 50 percent accuracy by using a novel MRI scanning method. They would expose a patient to hours of podcasts to see how their brain would react to different words, and then use the scan to determine.
The brain reacts to different words using electrical signals and blood flow. Researchers built an AI model that can read those reactions and translate them into writing (file photo)
But the researchers point out that it took 16 hours of training, with someone listening to podcasts in an MRI machine, for the computer model to understand their brain patterns and interpret what they were thinking.
People were also able to ‘sabotage’ the technology, using methods like mentally listing animals’ names, to stop it reading their thoughts.