Facebook announced , on Wednesday, a major breakthrough in its plans to allow people to type just by thinking of the words they want to use. But the US web giant says it is still some way away from a finished product.
In 2017 the former head of the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Regina Dugan, asked Facebook's developer conference: "What if you could type directly from your brain?"
Just over two years later a research paper published in the journal Nature Communications has revealed the company is now able to use records of brain activity while people speak, to instantly decode what they were saying into text on a computer screen.
This ability to decode - an admittedly small set of - words and phrases from brain activity in real-time is a huge leap forward in the field of brain-computer interfaces, or BCIs.
Working with research subjects who were already undergoing brain surgery to treat epilepsy, Facebook and scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) implanted electrodes to record patients' neural activity.
At the moment BCI research is limited to invasive electrodes which need to be surgically implanted in patients' brains, but the company is working on a wearable BCI device to monitor these neural signals.
Source: Sky News