Researchers at IIT Madras develops AI technology to convert brain signals of speech-impaired humans into English language

Our Bureau | Updated on February 03, 2020 Published on February 03, 2020

Chennai, February 3

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras today announced that its researchers had developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to convert brain signals of speech impaired humans into language.

A team of researchers lead by Vishal Nandigana, Assistant Professor, Fluid Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, is working on this area of research, the Institute said in a press statement.

Brain signals are typically electrical signals. These are wave-like patterns with spikes, humps and crusts which can be converted into simple human language - meaning speech using AI and Deep Learning algorithms. This enabled the researchers to read direct electrical signals of the brain.

The researchers tested this concept by getting experimental electrical signals through laboratory experiments to get signals from nanofluidic transport inside nanopores. The nanopores were filled with saline solution and mediated using an electric field.

“The output result is the ionic current, which represents the flow of ions which are charged particles. These electrically driven ionic current signals are working on to be interpreted as human language, meaning speech. This would tell us what the ions are trying to communicate with us. When we succeed with this effort, we will get electrophysiological data from the neurologists to get brain signals of speech impaired humans to know what they are trying to communicate,” Vishal Nandigana, the lead researcher, was quoted in the statement.

The researchers are now working on how to decode and interpret these real data signals into a simple human language such as English which can be understood by all human beings.

Electrical signals, brain signal or any signal, in general, are wave forms which are decoded to meaningful information using physical law or mathematical transforms such as Fourier Transform or Laplace transform. These physical laws and mathematical transforms are science-based languages discovered by renowned scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton and Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier.

The other primary application for this field of research is that the researchers can potentially interpret nature’s signals such as plant photosynthesis process or their response to external forces, the release added.

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Published on February 03, 2020
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