Facebook is Building a Device that Helps You Type with Your Brain

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Social network giant Facebook is reportedly building a device to allow people to type with their brains. Facebook is arguably the biggest social media platform with an ever fattening user base. After grabbing users’ attention, the company is now gearing to hacking into their brains.

At its F8 developer conference back in 2017, Facebook announced that it was working on a brain-computer interface (BCI) program that would focus on building a wearable device that would allow people type simply by imaging as if they were talking to themselves. Since then the social media giant has been tight-lipped about the developments in the project. And now, nearly two and a half years later the company has finally shared details about its BCI program.

The company teamed up with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to determine if it was possible to decode brain activity into speech and ultimately into computer signals. As a part of the research, the researchers three epilepsy patients who agreed to install temporary electrodes in their brain. The UCSF researchers said that after some training, the artificial intelligence-based system was able to identify the participants’ responses with an accuracy of 61 percent as soon as they finished speaking. Over time, researchers were able to increase this efficiency to 75 percent.

The ultimate goal of the researchers is to reach a real-time decoding speed of 100 words per minute with a 1,000-word vocabulary and the word error rate of less than 17 percent. Simply said, researchers want to design a wearable device – possibly something like Oculus VR — that has a vocabulary of at least 1,000 words and can decode 100 words per minute.

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