Thursday, June 13, 2024

Deprived of speech after a stroke, he can now communicate in English and Spanish thanks to a transplant

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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In the world of brain transplantation, the major discovery of a group of researchers from California is restarting the race for innovations.

A group of scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, have announced a major discovery by developing a neural implant that uses artificial intelligence to allow patients to communicate in Spanish and English.

This is an achievement that we owe to dozens of researchers from the Center for Neural Engineering and Prosthetics, which required several years of design to find a way to convert human brain activity into bilingual sentences that are “displayed on the screen.”

Transplant speaks English and Spanish

In an article published in the medical journal Nature of biomedical engineeringWe learned that a man was being used as a guinea pig. He became severely paralyzed at the age of 20, after suffering a stroke in the early 2000s. This patient was unable to express clearly. His native language was Spanish, but he had spoken English since his late teens.

To make it successfully speak both languages, the researchers used an artificial intelligence method known as a neural network, which allows the data received by the implant to be processed in the same way as the human brain.

The same technology was used in 2021 to allow this patient to communicate in English. The arrival of this implant is therefore a major development: “There is a need for developers of decoders that allow bilingual people to communicate in both languages,” said Dr. Edward Zhang, co-director of the research group.

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To achieve this, the implant collected data from the first language to train the decoder for the second language. Through it, the patient was able to “participate in a conversation, and switch from one language to another according to his preferences.”

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