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Artificial Intelligence That Can See With the Mind’s Eye


photo courtesy of Wikipedia

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Stanford University are using artificial intelligence (AI) to decode human brain scans and determine what a person is picturing in their mind. 

Participants underwent brain scans using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine while looking at more than 1,000 pictures, such as a red firetruck, a gray building and a giraffe eating leaves. This fMRI data was processed by an AI model for roughly 20 hours per patient, as it trained to associate certain brain patterns with the different images. 

To test the learning capabilities of the AI model, the subjects were then shown new images while undergoing fMRI. Upon reviewing the brain waves, the AI system generated a shorthand description of each person’s brain state and sketched its best-guess facsimile of the image the participant saw. The AI-generated image matched the attributes (color, shape and other details) and semantic meaning of the original image approximately 84 percent of the time. Researchers believe that in a decade the technology could be used on anyone, anywhere.

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