Study: AI Allows Paralyzed Woman to 'Speak' Again

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The Facts

  • According to a study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, a severely paralyzed woman has been able to speak through a digital avatar using a brain-computer interface.

  • The woman, Ann Johnson, 48, suffered a brainstem stroke when she was 30, leaving her severely paralyzed and unable to speak.

The Spin

Narrative A

Artificial intelligence helping two paralyzed people communicate audibly in close to real-time is nothing short of a miracle. Although it's a scientific proof of concept, turning the technology into a wireless medical device can bring us much closer to making AI a natural solution for paralyzed patients to speak and express clearly.

Narrative B

Experiments that use electrodes to read brain signals date back to the late 1990s, but the research and its implementation in everyday life have yet to make strides. As a crucial next step is to create the brain-computer interface's wireless version that would most likely be implanted beneath the skull — potentially raising privacy issues — it's too early to imagine a future where we could restore fluent and accurate conversation to paralyzed people.

Metaculus Prediction

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