Mind-Reading Computers Get Better at Their Job


Telepathic machines can now show better pictures of our thoughts

Text Lim Jun Xi


Mind-reading technology is getting more accurate, as scientists in Kyoto last year uncovered a new way to recreate in far sharper detail what a person visualises in their mind, based on their brain activity.

Previously, scientists used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to read electric signals in the brain, and fed the information into a digital system that would translate the signals into shapes or words currently being thought of by the test subject. The technology was simplistic, and only able to produce rough approximations of a person’s thoughts.

However, this new method uses advanced artificial intelligence, called a “deep neural network”, that produces clearer pictures of complex shapes and objects based on the data from subject’s brain scans.

It is able to detect nuances in brain activity previously unachievable, and scientists involved in the study say that in the future, this technology could be used to achieve feats such as drawing and painting with the mind, recreating dreams, and curing psychiatric conditions such as hallucinations.


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For more stories and photographs from this issue, see Asian Geographic Issue 129, 2018


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