Mind-reading AI can decode your thoughts without touching you

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Out of the pages of science fiction and comics books, a mind-reading AI has been invented in a new study. In a massive leap forward, the technology allegedly works without touching the human subject.

The study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, claims to be able to capture real-time brain activity. But just what are the limits to this sci-fi reality? 

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Does the mind-reading AI work?

Science Alert reports that this AI mind-reading technique involves a noninvasive brain scanning technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The report claims that fMRI tracks the flow of blood in your brain, leading to some indirect mind decoding.

While impressive, the fact that it's indirect shows that this technique still has its kinks and won’t completely read minds. However, it’s still an impressive piece of technology and can likely be improved upon in the future for better effect.

"If you had asked any cognitive neuroscientist in the world 20 years ago if this was doable, they would have laughed you out of the room," claims Alexander Huth, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas.

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In the future, the team hopes to expand this technology as an accessibility tool. This means that those unable to speak normally could have their thoughts decoded into text or robotic speech, enabling them to have conversations.

Read More: AI essays are being handed in by students across the world

How it happened

The Scientist reports that research for this AI-mind-reading technique involved brain scanning, some podcasts, and even a few radio shows. Apparently, young men and women in their 20’s and 30’s listened to 16 hours worth of podcasts and radio shows.

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Once the brains of these men and women were scanned, they were fed to a computer algorithm that they called a "decoder.” Through this, the brain decoder was able to tell the story based on brain activity, which is really impressive.

The scientists did explain that they are unable to determine “word to word translations” of human thoughts. However, it is the best example of remote mind-reading technology available in the current world.