Scientists decode thoughts with mind-reading computer

The ability to read minds has taken a step towards reality with scientists using computers to decode brain waves.

Researchers at UC Berkeley have successfully managed to decode speech heard by patients when turned into brain waves, opening up the possibility that the same technique could be used to ‘hear’ our thoughts.

Work into brain computer interfaces has been going on for some time now, and this latest step shows real promise by decoding the electrical activity in the temporal lobe of a brain via a computer.

This involved predicting the words heard by a patient, but, intriguingly, the researchers are saying that it may be possible to use a similar technique to listen in on thoughts.

If this mind-reading trick is possible then it would have some tremendous applications; being able to communicate with ‘locked in’ patients suffering from paralysis or in a coma, not to mention putting creepy magician Derren Brown out of a job.

Peering into the future has its drawbacks.  We can only imagine Google rubbing its hand with glee at the thought of the ultimate method to permeate our personal lives,  mining our thoughts and having adverts popping up inside our craniums.

We are a long way from such a scenario.  Anyone worried about someone having an unauthorised peek into the chundering cogs of our inner mind has little to fear for the moment, as the procedure involves implanting electrodes with direct brain contact.