Science has revolutionized the lives of paralyzed people

Science has revolutionized the lives of paralyzed people

Fourteen to seventy-eight words per minute, in addition to facial expressions. | Milad Vakorian via Unsplash

The Guardian newspaper said that a 47-year-old woman, who was severely paralyzed after suffering a stroke, was able to speak again thanks to science. However, it was possible for him to vocalize himself through the digital avatar, as the signals emitted from his brain were translated into sentences and facial expressions.

The principle is a direct neural interface, also known as a “brain-computer interface”. This technology could revolutionize the presence of many patients who have lost the ability to speak, for example after a stroke or due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or Charcot’s disease).

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The solutions in place so far have been very limited: they have involved machines that painstakingly synthesize sound, at a slow pace, all from dictating a person through eye movements or speech in other parts of the face. Something to communicate of course, but without any hope of being able to carry on a conversation in a natural way.

Fluent conversation and facial expressions

But the latest technology, described by the New Atlas science website, is far more ambitious. It is based on the implantation of 253 small electrodes on the surface of the brain, which allows the detection and analysis of its electrical activity, in order to transmit it in the form of words and facial expressions.

From now on, not only is it possible to have a dynamic dialogue with an interviewer, but in addition, patients can use their own avatar to smile, show their surprise or make a frown. Our goal is…

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