Bilingual AI brain implant helps stroke survivor communicate in Spanish and English

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Group Join Now

Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco have developed a bilingual brain implant that uses artificial intelligence to help a stroke survivor communicate in Spanish and English for the first time.

About a dozen scientists at the university's Center for Neural Engineering and Prosthetics have worked for years to design a decoding system that can convert human brain activity into sentences in both languages ​​and display them on a screen.

An article published May 20 in Nature Biomedical Engineering outlines their research, identifying the man as Pancho. At the age of 20, he suffered severe paralysis as a result of a stroke in the early 2000s. Pancho can grunt and moan but cannot articulate words. He is a native Spanish speaker who learned English as an adult.

Led by Dr. Edward Chang, a neurosurgeon who serves as co-director of the Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses, Pancho received a neural implant in February 2019, allowing scientists to begin tracking his brain activity. given.

Using an AI method known as a neural network, researchers were able to train Pancho's implant to decode words based on brain activity as he tried to articulate them. This AI training method essentially allows a brain implant, scientifically known as a brain-computer interface device, to process data in a way that somewhat resembles the human brain. burns

By 2021, technology had significantly helped restore Pancho's ability to communicate, but only in English.

“Speech encoding has been shown to be primarily monolingual, but half the world is bilingual, with each language contributing to a person's personality and worldview,” Chang's research group said at X. Chang's research group said on X. “

However, 2021's research served as the basis for developing the decoding system that later made Pancho's brain implant bilingual in Spanish and English.

Allowing to change the language based on preference

After discovering that Pancho had “cortical activity” in both languages ​​years after his cerebral palsy, scientists realized that they could create a bilingual brain implant without the need to train separate language-specific decoding systems. You can use it for training.

“We took advantage of this finding to demonstrate transfer learning across languages. Data collected in the first language can significantly speed up the training of a decoder in the second language,” Chang's research group said at X. ” said Chang's research group on X, because it is based on brain activity that is generated by “intention.” movement of the participant's vocal tract regardless of language.”

In 2022, scientists tried to prove it. They again used an artificial neural network to train Pancho's brain implant on the specific neural activity generated by his bilingual speech.

According to their findings, Pancho was able to use a bilingual decoding system that powered his brain implant to “participate in conversation, switch between [both] languages ​​on the basis of preference.”

As of May 20, the study finally shows the “feasibility of a bilingual speech neuroprosthesis,” or bilingual brain implant, and offers a glimpse of how this type of technology could work among bilingual speakers with paralysis. How has “the ability to restore more natural communication”? topic

For more from NBC Latino, Sign up for our weekly newsletter..

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Group Join Now

Leave a Comment