In science fiction, the practice of silently saying words thought by the mind is called subvocalization. If the term does not sound familiar, think of when you read a board or a text, and the consciousness automatically reproduces the writings in the brain: it’s like you’re reading aloud inside your head, is not it?
Recently, this began to be used for purposes of interaction with computers and mobile devices, and the MIT researchers even created a wearable that measures neuromuscular signals, they are triggered when the individual does the subvocalization.
The gadget may at first appear to be just a medical device attached to the user’s face, but one can imagine that in future the size of the component will decrease and it will be allocated to the face in a more subtle way. It is also speculated that wearable can be used as a sort of wizard, with activations integrated through “Hey Siri” or “OK Google”, but for now, the system created by MIT works in a different way: with electrodes that pick up the signals that you verbalize internally, as if they were bone-conducting headphones. The idea is that the component uses the vibrations transmitted to the bones of the inner ear without obstructing the ear canal.
These signals are then sent to a computer that uses neural networks to distinguish words. So far, the system has been used to do things like use Roku, ask for weather forecasts and even report your opponent’s chess moves to get the best counterattacks. All this in complete silence, since the only interaction that exists is between the individual and his mind, and the gadget.
According to Arnav Kapur, an MIT student and lead author of the study, “the motivation for [wearable development] was to build a device with artificial intelligence – an intelligence enhancement device.” He further states that the idea the team had at the outset was that they could “have a more internal computing platform that merges humans and machines in some way and that would seem to be an internal extension of our own cognition.”