This device can Read Your Mind. - CALIPHATE MEDIA

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Saturday, 21 April 2018

This device can Read Your Mind.



            Image result for AlterEgo  


 MIT researchers have created a wearable device called “AlterEgo” that can read people’s minds when they use an internal voice, allowing them to control devices and ask queries without speaking.

The device can transcribe words that wearers verbalise internally but do not say out loud, using electrodes attached to the skin.


“Our idea was: could we have a computing platform that’s more internal, that melds human and machine in some ways and that feels like an internal extension of our own cognition?” said Arnav Kapur, who led the development of the system at MIT’s Media Lab.

Arnav Kapur describes the headset as an “intelligence-augmentation or IA device, and was

 The device was first presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Intelligent User Interface conference in Tokyo and it is meant to be worn around the jaw and chin, clipped over the top of the ear to hold it in place.

  
AlterEgo is a closed-loop, non-invasive, wearable system that allows humans to converse in high-bandwidth natural language with machines, artificial intelligence assistants, services, and other people without any voice—without opening their mouth, and without externally observable movements—simply by vocalizing internally.  The wearable captures electrical signals, induced by subtle but deliberate movements of internal speech articulators (when a user intentionally vocalizes internally), in likeness to speaking to one's self.  We use this to facilitate a bi-directional natural language computing system, where users receive aural output through bone-conduction earphones without obstructing a user's physical senses.


                It has four electrodes located under the white plastic device which make contact with the skin and pick up the subtle neuromuscular signals that are triggered when a person verbalises internally.

When someone says words inside their head, artificial intelligence within the device will match the particular signals to particular words, feeding them into a computer.

According to the researchers “The computer can then respond through the device using a bone conduction speaker that plays sound into the ear without the need for an earphone to be inserted, leaving the wearer free to hear the rest of the world at the same time. The idea is to create a outwardly silent computer interface that only the wearer of the AlterEgo device can speak to and hear.”


 “We basically can’t live without our cellphones, our digital devices. But at the moment, the use of those devices is very disruptive,” said Pattie Maes, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT. “If I want to look something up that’s relevant to a conversation I’m having, I have to find my phone and type in the passcode and open an app and type in some search keyword, and the whole thing requires that I completely shift attention from my environment and the people that I’m with to the phone itself.”


“The AlterEgo device managed an average of 92% transcription accuracy in a 10-person trial with about 15 minutes of customising to each person. That’s several percentage points below the 95%-plus accuracy rate that Google’s voice transcription service is capable of using a traditional microphone, but Kapur says the system will improve in accuracy over time.

Kapur and the team are currently working on collecting data to improve recognition and widen the number of words AlterEgo can detect. It can already be used to control a basic user interface such as the Roku streaming system, moving and selecting content, and can recognise numbers, play chess and perform other basic tasks.


  Image result for AlterEgo           The eventual goal is to make interfacing with AI assistants such as Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri less embarrassing and more intimate, allowing people to communicate with them in a manner that appears to be silent to the outside world – a system that sounds like science fiction but appears entirely possible.


            

                 The only downside is that users will have to wear a device strapped to their face, a barrier smart glasses such as Google Glass failed to overcome. But experts think the technology has much potential, not only in the consumer space for activities such as dictation but also in industry.

“Wouldn’t it be great to communicate with voice in an environment where you normally wouldn’t be able to?” said Thad Starner, a computing professor at Georgia Tech. “You can imagine all these situations where you have a high-noise environment, like the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, or even places with a lot of machinery, like a power plant or a printing press.”


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