Authors: Olivia Stevenson (Future Science Group)
Researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF; CA, USA) have developed a brain–machine interface that uses brain activity to control a virtual vocal tract, generating natural-sounding artificial speech. In the future, this could potentially bring back speech in individuals who have lost this ability.
Loss of speaking ability is often present in individuals who have experienced brain injury or neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. At present, some individuals with speech loss are able to use devices that track eye or facial muscle movements to spell out thoughts. However, these devices can be slow, and are often error-prone.