You must log in or register to comment.

_Skyhopper_ t1_j5u0n7f wrote

My mother lost the ability to speak from a stroke five years ago, and it's been hard to see her slowly detaching herself from everything around her since she can't communicate that way anymore. If this could get her to 'speak' again, it would be amazing.


AitchyB t1_j5v6wh7 wrote

Could she use something like proloquo or similar AAC or does she not have motor skills to select the words?


_Skyhopper_ t1_j5vdeox wrote


She has limited motor skills in her right hand. I have her a device that has 12 preset words she can use, but she has difficulties pressing hard enough to get the device to speak the word for her. But prologuo is tablet based, which she might be able to do. I'll look into a prologuo. Thank you for the idea.


screaminmeemie t1_j5vt83s wrote

Take her to a speech pathologist who can assess her communication needs and help you get an insurance-funded communication device.


opossumwranglerr t1_j5w2o40 wrote

Yes! I am an SLP and this is the thing to do. It is literally our job to pair each client with the best device for their needs and skills and train them and the family how to use it. Fair warning though, here in America getting the device through insurance can be a long and annoying road.


Beowuwlf t1_j5w2egt wrote

This^^^ there are specialists out there who will get you squared away as best as possible


oddballAstronomer t1_j5xklos wrote

There’s also CoughDrop which was developed by autistic adults and is only 8$ a month. You can design custom boards or use presets and they have ones geared towards adult communication. It’s also one of the few that will let you say “fuck” which like… man all adults should be allowed to do!


ArcherBTW t1_j5xojde wrote

Not being able to say „fuck“ for too long is awful


rpgguy_1o1 t1_j5wnnx9 wrote

Just curious, what are the 12 words?


_Skyhopper_ t1_j5yrjc4 wrote

The words are: Hello, Goodbye, Yes, No, I'm Hungry, I'm Thirsty, I'm Bored, How are you?, Shut Up, I Love You.
At least, those are the words I can remember off the top of my head.


munnexdio t1_j5vdkv7 wrote

Eye movement tracking tablets have existed for ~15 years. My aunt had ALS and used one in 2007 when she couldn’t speak anymore. It’s basically a tablet that tracks your eye movement. There’s a digital keyboard and it recognizes what letters you’re looking at in what order, so you can form sentences and have it speak for you. They’re very expensive but insurance will often cover it. You should look into it

Edit: here’s a link for the one my aunt used


SophiesChoice_55 t1_j5w8ktn wrote

I had a student who used a tablet like this and it was a game changer for him and his teachers.


SophiesChoice_55 t1_j5wd11z wrote

My student had a shortcut screen with pictures. Common words that he used frequently had one key. It also had his teacher's yearbook picture on the key and he could call us with one stroke. He was a sharp, funny kid who loved to talk. The difference was amazing. I wish all special needs children with this form of disability had the opportunity to have this.


ThrillSurgeon t1_j5x9k9g wrote

How small can the letters on the screen be? Giving us an idea of its precision.


munnexdio t1_j5xa3yw wrote

Extremely precise.


ThrillSurgeon t1_j5xb21c wrote

Incredible, look how small the letters on the screen are. If this is the real technology and not just a medical advertisement, its extremely precise.


munnexdio t1_j5xbbra wrote

It is real. I watched my aunt use it over a decade ago. I can only imagine how much it has improved since then.

It also costs like $20,000, which is why insurance covers it (sometimes)


Undrende_fremdeles t1_j5ybki0 wrote

I tried a freeware open source program like this many years ago!

I have no disability like that, just wanted to test it since it was free. I used my mouse to "track" the marker on the screen.

I remember them writing about how the bottleneck was an affordable setup for actually tracking the eyes, not the software and the screen. But there were up and coming freeware and open source programs for that too.

I imagine that with today's camera quality you can definitively make a basic setup like this at home for free/for the cost of a screen w/camera and something for computing. Be it tablets or other setups.


e_hota t1_j5vetfz wrote

I remember reading this several years ago after my grandmother died from a stroke, but it’s possible that people who can’t speak because of a stroke may be able to still sing because speaking is a left-brain activity and singing is a right-brain activity. Might be worth a try to see if she can sing her thoughts instead of speaking them.


DaGurggles t1_j5w235v wrote

With my father we got an IR camera that could track his heads movement to use a computer mouse.

I attached a laser pointer to a pair of safety glasses and printed out a QWERTY keyboard for him to spell out his thoughts.

Both worked for a time. Fuck ALS


picklesin t1_j5wbyma wrote

Genius ideas. Fuck ALS, sorry about your father.


DaGurggles t1_j5wcsev wrote


I did make a mouse that he could use his feet with but….ALS made my project moot


Undrende_fremdeles t1_j5ybz4g wrote

So... You could likely pass that knowledge on to others that are not as far progressed, or even have pyuer disabilities that affect their motor skills?

The internet is an amazing bridge between the random people that would otherwise never come across each other in real life.

I really, truly believe that your efforts could benefit others even if it didn't manage to help him in time.


DaGurggles t1_j5yv65a wrote

You’re not wrong, I abandoned the he project to keep up with the change in his symptoms.

On a basic level I took apart a USB laser mouse, $20 Logitech, and extended the connections of the left and right clicks with a bit of 22 gauge wire. The sensor was flipped up and with a smooth slipper would act as a mouse pad mimicking the motion of movement.

Back in 2010 there wasn’t much on the market that was affordable. The best I saw was a roller ball that could be manipulated with the tongue. Now you can get a foot mouse for $80, but back then the cheapest I could find was $250


MoneyIsTerrifying t1_j5vdlys wrote

I’m so sorry to hear that. You may want to look into the Steve Gleason Act - it makes eye tracking devices more accessible via Medicare for those who can’t vocalize anymore. It might offer a new way for communication if possible for her.


f10101 t1_j5w2z4l wrote

Did she lose the ability to speak entirely, or is it more that it's become unintelligible? If the latter, and you haven't seen this already, I came recently came across a google project aimed at speech recognition for non-standard speech

And best wishes to both of you. Hope you eventually find a way for her to more easily communicate.


InversionPerversion t1_j5w61bz wrote

Please reach out to an AAC savvy SLP. She probably qualifies for an eye tracking communication device covered by insurance.


MilwaukeeMax t1_j5xryfi wrote

I feel for you. My mom developed primary progressive aphasia from a rapid onset of vascular dementia (likely a stroke), and she can’t put sentences or words together anymore. In her case, however, it doesn’t seem to be reversible and she can’t write very well anymore either. I know she has ideas and words she wants to say but can’t. Not verbally, not even in written form. It’s tough to witness.


Antigon0000 t1_j5uni9f wrote

>The woman has been able to rapidly communicate phrases like “I don’t own my home” and “It’s just tough” at a rate approaching normal speech.



ArchdukeBurrito t1_j5vaegp wrote

Me: Wow what an exciting and feel good headline, can't wait to read the actual article!

The article: Futuristic technology allows woman to express her feelings of complete and utter hopelessness regarding the dystopian nightmare she's trapped in.


StatmanIbrahimovic t1_j5vngb0 wrote

Then: research into futuristic technology banned because lawmakers don't want to talk about euthanasia and the right to die with dignity.


ObtainSustainability t1_j5z8ewb wrote

People with ALS are eventually euthanized. They administered morphine to my father and my friend's father. I am thankful that he was given that compassion. When he was gone it felt like a great weight lifted off our shoulders. No one should have to suffer that much.


queen-of-carthage t1_j5w8pq6 wrote

Did this woman ever express suicidal intentions? Redditors love advocating for soft eugenics


That_FireAlarm_Guy t1_j5wccdi wrote

Every human who’s ever existed has been born, and has either already died or will die.

I wasn’t given much of a choice about being born and existing, but god dammit I should be allowed to decide how I want to leave this earth.


ptolemy18 t1_j5wudjp wrote

Amen. We figured this out with dogs decades ago. When a dog is suffering, we end the suffering. When a human is suffering, well, suffering is noble and medically assisted death isn’t an option.


StatmanIbrahimovic t1_j5xdo66 wrote

Is this technology only going to help this woman speak? Truth is we don't know how many people are alive against their will.


DraconicWF t1_j5vo6si wrote

Good job using our tech to regain some semblance of speech. Sooooo…. do you have blue cross as your insurance provider orrrrrr.


Saloncinx t1_j5vybps wrote

I'd be begging to be euthanized.


DaGurggles t1_j5w2m1n wrote

That’s the worse part about ALS, at a certain point you lose the ability to even take your own life


Powerful-Parsnip t1_j5vy2d5 wrote

Hey turn of grandmas brain computer interface, she's bumming me out.


Frnklfrwsr t1_j5w3eux wrote

I heard this in the voice of Randy from South Park.


DaGurggles t1_j5w2inu wrote

Now be a family member who can’t communicate with someone they love dearly.

Now imagine watching this person lose the ability to manipulate the world around them.

Now imagine that they no longer can interact with anything and their only choice is trust people around them care enough to do what ever they can, as you’re trapped in your own body.

Then think about how the headline mentions a break through of 62 words a minute and the best you can comment is “sad”.

I fucking hate ALS


Antigon0000 t1_j5xuu3q wrote

Sorry I guess I should have written an essay. It IS sad!


esprit-de-lescalier OP t1_j5t9kep wrote

Eight years ago, a patient lost her power of speech because of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which causes progressive paralysis. She can still make sounds, but her words have become unintelligible, leaving her reliant on a writing board or iPad to communicate.

Now, after volunteering to receive a brain implant, the woman has been able to rapidly communicate phrases like “I don’t own my home” and “It’s just tough” at a rate approaching normal speech.

That is the claim in a paper published over the weekend on the website bioRxiv by a team at Stanford University. The study has not been formally reviewed by other researchers. The scientists say their volunteer, identified only as “subject T12,” smashed previous records by using the brain-reading implant to communicate at a rate of 62 words a minute, three times the previous best.

Philip Sabes, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the project, called the results a “big breakthrough” and said that experimental brain-reading technology could be ready to leave the lab and become a useful product soon.

“The performance in this paper is already at a level which many people who cannot speak would want, if the device were ready,” says Sabes. “People are going to want this.”

People without speech deficits typically talk at a rate of about 160 words a minute. Even in an era of keyboards, thumb-typing, emojis, and internet abbreviations, speech remains the fastest form of human-to-human communication.

The new research was carried out at Stanford University. The preprint, published January 21, began drawing extra attention on Twitter and other social media because of the death the same day of its co-lead author, Krishna Shenoy, from pancreatic cancer.

Shenoy had devoted his career to improving the speed of communication through brain interfaces, carefully maintaining a list of records on his laboratory website. In 2019, another volunteer Shenoy worked with managed to use his thoughts to type at a rate of 18 words a minute, a record performance at the time, as we related in MIT Technology Review’s special issue on computing.

The brain-computer interfaces that Shenoy’s team works with involve a small pad of sharp electrodes embedded in a person’s motor cortex, the brain region most involved in movement. This allows researchers to record activity from a few dozen neurons at once and find patterns that reflect what motions someone is thinking of, even if the person is paralyzed.

In previous work, paralyzed volunteers have been asked to imagine making hand movements. By “decoding” their neural signals in real time, implants have let them steer a cursor around a screen, pick out letters on a virtual keyboard, play video games, or even control a robotic arm.

In the new research, the Stanford team wanted to know if neurons in the motor cortex contained useful information about speech movements, too. That is, could they detect how “subject T12” was trying to move her mouth, tongue, and vocal cords as she attempted to talk?

These are small, subtle movements, and according to Sabes, one big discovery is that just a few neurons contained enough information to let a computer program predict, with good accuracy, what words the patient was trying to say. That information was conveyed by Shenoy’s team to a computer screen, where the patient’s words appeared as they were spoken by the computer.

The new result builds on previous work by Edward Chang at the University of California, San Francisco, who has written that speech involves the most complicated movements people make. We push out air, add vibrations that make it audible, and form it into words with our mouth, lips, and tongue. To make the sound “f,” you put your top teeth on your lower lip and push air out—just one of dozens of mouth movements needed to speak.
A path forward

Chang previously used electrodes placed on top of the brain to permit a volunteer to speak through a computer, but in their preprint, the Stanford researchers say their system is more accurate and three to four times faster.

“Our results show a feasible path forward to restore communication to people with paralysis at conversational speeds,” wrote the researchers, who included Shenoy and neurosurgeon Jaimie Henderson.

David Moses, who works with Chang’s team at UCSF, says the current work reaches “impressive new performance benchmarks.” Yet even as records continue to be broken, he says, “it will become increasingly important to demonstrate stable and reliable performance over multi-year time scales.” Any commercial brain implant could have a difficult time getting past regulators, especially if it degrades over time or if the accuracy of the recording falls off. A 67-year-old ALS patients broke speed records using a brain implant to communicate. The implanted device uses neural signals to detect the words she is trying to say, conveying them to a computer screen.


The path forward is likely to include both more sophisticated implants and closer integration with artificial intelligence.

The current system already uses a couple of types of machine learning programs. To improve its accuracy, the Stanford team employed software that predicts what word typically comes next in a sentence. “I” is more often followed by “am” than “ham,” even though these words sound similar and could produce similar patterns in someone’s brain.

Adding the word prediction system increased how quickly the subject could speak without mistakes.
Language models

But newer “large” language models, like GPT-3, are capable of writing entire essays and answering questions. Connecting these to brain interfaces could enable people using the system to speak even faster, just because the system will be better at guessing what they are trying to say on the basis of partial information. “The success of large language models over the last few years makes me think that a speech prosthesis is close at hand, because maybe you don’t need such an impressive input to get speech out,” says Sabes.

Shenoy’s group is part of a consortium called BrainGate that has placed electrodes into the brains of more than a dozen volunteers. They use an implant called the Utah Array, a rigid metal square with about 100 needle-like electrodes.

Some companies, including Elon Musk’s brain interface company, Neuralink, and a startup called Paradromics, say they have developed more modern interfaces that can record from thousands—even tens of thousands—of neurons at once.

While some skeptics have asked whether measuring from more neurons at one time will make any difference, the new report suggests it will, especially if the job is to brain-read complex movements such as speech.

The Stanford scientists found that the more neurons they read from at once, the fewer errors they made in understanding what “T12” was trying to say.

“This is a big deal, because it suggests efforts by companies like Neuralink to put 1,000 electrodes into the brain will make a difference, if the task is sufficiently rich,” says Sabes, who previously worked as a senior scientist at Neuralink.


Mahorium t1_j5udezl wrote

TLDR from ChatGPT:

  • A team of scientists at Stanford University have published a study on a brain implant that allows a patient with ALS to communicate at a rate of 62 words per minute.

  • The patient had lost their ability to speak due to ALS and had to rely on a writing board or iPad to communicate before the implant.

  • The brain implant is placed in the motor cortex, records activity from a few dozen neurons at once and finds patterns that reflect what movements the person is thinking of, even if they are paralyzed.

  • Results have been called a "big breakthrough" by researchers not involved in the project and it is suggested that the technology could be ready to leave the lab and become a useful product soon.


antrage t1_j5umbp8 wrote

Build on this, this opens up an interesting space for Chat GPT as well. Rather then putting forward full speech can ALS patient put forward a prompt that is then expanded upon by chat gpt? Also maybe an AI that is trained on previous things the patient wrote might be able to write it in the same style and personality as the person themselves.


anonsequitur t1_j5v1bfp wrote

Wow. Imagine being able to send commands to electronic interfaces with this. You could give paralyzed people the ability to use computer again through the cmd console.

You could even have a fully paralyzed programmer. It's approaching real ghost in the shell stuff here


Insolent_redneck t1_j5vdfsv wrote

Seems like a net netrunner from the Cyberpunk universe. Hopefully as technology advances (as it does) it doesn't wind up turning disabled people into processors or whatever. Still, really cool tech that will wind up improving lives if it matures some more.


ShaolinShade t1_j5wirmb wrote

> You could give paralyzed people the ability to use computer again through the cmd console.

Why would they be limited to a cmd console interface...? It's not like the I/O of brain-computer interfaces is limited to text


anonsequitur t1_j5wkcmi wrote

>Why would they be limited to a cmd console interface...? It's not like the I/O of brain-computer interfaces is limited to text

Because the article doesn't mention any interface beyond text. And I'm not in the habit of speculating past technology that's currently available. Maybe in the future if an interface like that is created, sure. But right now it appears to just be text.


ShaolinShade t1_j5wn15a wrote

Did you read the article..? It talks about how speech is one of the most complicated actions / combination of motions the brain performs, and that they're reading motor I/O from multiple regions and functions (breath, lips etc) in order to recreate that into words.

We've had the technology for GUI manipulation through brain-computer interfaces for a while now, controlling a cursor on screen was accomplished long before any form of working speech recognition.


dustofdeath t1_j5vss04 wrote

Normal people 160 words per minute? ~3 words/s. Did they mess up some units?

That's like Eminem level rap speed.


The-Alternate t1_j5vy10q wrote

If I time myself saying "I do not like the color of the dog" (9 words) it takes me less than 2 seconds, and about 3 seconds if I add emphasis. That's about 3 words per second — or better.

I think the average in a conversation might be lower due to pauses and thinking, but constant speaking like reading a book out loud can easily be faster than 3 words per second.


AnotherShadowBan t1_j5v6pwc wrote

Have they resolved the issue of eventual scar tissue and electrode rejection preventing long term use?


50calPeephole t1_j5ttxp3 wrote

Well this is awesome and terrifying at the same time.

Where's the neurological line between tapping into what we want to voice, and our internal monologue?


c0mpost t1_j5tzs73 wrote

The line is very clear. They are using inputs from the motor cortex, so the difference is really the same as it is between actually enabling vocal musculature and thinking quietly. I think understanding the internal monologue enough to inspect it is still very very far, and maybe not even feasible using implants, as it seems to be a spacially diffuse neural task.


nivrams_brain t1_j5ugjyb wrote

Iirc, these neurons are also activated with internal monolog


chth t1_j5uik9n wrote

People often don't realize they silently mouth some of the things in their internal monolog.


rathat t1_j5vpdoq wrote

I don't find my mouth moving, but I can often feel my vocal cords matching the pitch of my inner voice.


chihuahuassuck t1_j5vue33 wrote

I find that I can't say the word "world" in my head without either moving my tongue or mentally enunciating very carefully. It "sounds" more like "would" otherwise.


rathat t1_j5vunis wrote

Yeah, that's interesting, I can really feel that rl sound push itself into your mouth.


duffmanhb t1_j5wg8f3 wrote

We've discovered just how adaptive the brain is when it comes to trying to engage with the outer world. For the most part, the brain will simply make whatever required pathways needed, to adapt to the new tool it's using.


stan4MarcusAurelius t1_j5tunu2 wrote

Lots of "did I just neuron-to-speech that out loud!?" accidents incoming


50calPeephole t1_j5txdy3 wrote

I'm a bit more cynical and was thinking of the military using it for interrogation, or worse police getting a warrant to put a hat on you that pulls the info.

MIT already has a device that scrapes your internal monolog by using sympathetic reflexes in the throat. Technologically speaking, the requirement for an implant is a current limitation that will be overcome.

So while legally questions about use are somewhat ambiguous, typically the solutions don't get resolved until someone decides to abuse it.


handplan t1_j5v3rdc wrote

Probably not. Probably can configure a button so it will be push to talk or you can mute yourself. Then you can say "Sorry guys I forgot I was muted" in real life


kriven_risvan t1_j5u6egn wrote

those are two very different things, neurologically. Some people don't even have an internal monologue.


nxqv t1_j5vd1gu wrote

I honestly think it's more likely that the people who say they don't have one are just not self-aware enough to realize that they do have one. And then there's some % of people who think they're being asked if they hear voices inside their head so they say no


kriven_risvan t1_j5vfsj7 wrote

Is that just your opinion, or is it based on some research I can read?


nxqv t1_j5wn9di wrote

That's just my opinion


rathat t1_j5vqe2m wrote

Most people think most of the time with an inner voice. Some people think more with imagery than an inner voice, and then there are some people who are just not capable of thinking in an inner voice at all. It's called aphantasia. They can't imagine sound well at all. Some of them also use imagery, but it's also common for them to not be able to imagine imagery either. But I'm sure your last idea also happens sometimes, people just misunderstanding what an inner voice is.


brianorca t1_j5w8xhy wrote

You understand that animals such as chimps and dogs probably have some kind of thought process that doesn't involve words, right? It's not a stretch to think that some people can have thoughts without words, too.


PristineBiscuit t1_j5ucwj7 wrote

Think "The difference between knowing how to write the word you want to", | ^and | "actually writing it"


rathat t1_j5vqkis wrote

It's like, no matter how much I try to will my arm to move, it won't happen unless I actually move it.


satisfried t1_j5u2err wrote

Some people don’t even have an internal monologue. I always found that weird because mine won’t stfu.


immaownyou t1_j5tznpv wrote

Probably the same difference between you deciding to only think something instead of saying it lol, the person would probably use the technology in the same way of thought


Iinzers t1_j5v6szh wrote

Well you need brain surgery to make this work so its a pretty solid line.


wolfgang784 t1_j5u44t8 wrote

Nah nah nah - you want terrifying?

Wait till someone (a government first prolly) uses this to take control of someone important/influential/polarizing and use them for their own narrative. Everyone thinks the person in question is saying these things, but it's the government feeding lines instead and the patient is just trapped.


PhasmaFelis t1_j5txob8 wrote

> The current system already uses a couple of types of machine learning programs. To improve its accuracy, the Stanford team employed software that predicts what word typically comes next in a sentence. “I” is more often followed by “am” than “ham,” even though these words sound similar and could produce similar patterns in someone’s brain.

> But newer “large” language models, like GPT-3, are capable of writing entire essays and answering questions. Connecting these to brain interfaces could enable people using the system to speak even faster, just because the system will be better at guessing what they are trying to say on the basis of partial information.

Man, I'm sure it's better than not being able to talk at all, but using autocorrect on my actual speech sounds kinda creepy. Especially the GPT thing, since GPT can generate not just short phrases but entire essays. Even if it works perfectly 98% of the time, that one time in 50 when your "own voice" decides to say something that didn't come from your brain could be terrifying.


M-Noremac t1_j5u46sf wrote

>Even if it works perfectly 98% of the time, that one time in 50 when your "own voice" decides to say something that didn't come from your brain could be terrifying.

Sounds pretty normal to me.


Zoloft_and_the_RRD t1_j5u9x7r wrote

Right? Even people with intact communication stutter, say the wrong word, say a word wrong, etc.


Mackitycack t1_j5uhuoz wrote

Ya, my thoughts around this was more so the random weird shit ill most certainly type out loud. It's a struggle to keep my mind in check as it is with mindfulness, meds and meditation... though, I (mostly) filter with my speech, so perhaps it'd work similarly


TheChance t1_j5u5jty wrote

After years hanging out in LGBT forums correcting my spellchecker, my phone decided I always mean to spell ‘dike’ the other way. Fortunately, at some point I managed to get it to correct to the tamer ‘duke,’ but that’s still wildly incorrect, and it’s not a word I use often enough to remember ahead of pressing send.

Also, I think this one’s about over, but if you’ve got a significant other or an ex named Andrew or Andrea, there were a few years where it was really dicey typing “and,” which is one of those words you just fly over.

All of this is leaving aside homophones where you got it right and the phone enwrongified you.

It’s a good thing for New Orleans they’ve got all those slur Andrew levies!


iProcrastinate-Air t1_j5u8jr2 wrote

google predictive typing allows you to scrub autocorrected learned words by way of tap and hold on the word when it comes up above the keyboard. there should be something similar for iOS too - give it a try


TheChance t1_j5uj2n2 wrote

Well, shit, now I can’t trigger dike/duke, must be too recent. Thanks for the tip, now I just need to wait for a conversation about flood protection to crop up


Great-And-twinkieful t1_j5ufsb6 wrote

Most of these don't just send they write it out then you confirm. Even current ALS bleach systems have spell check and basic predictive functions. You won't find it terrifying you will find it a relief that can speed up your talking. What you will find terrifying is how hard it is to talk.

ALS is a horrifying and typing with your eyes is slow and makes it hard to socialize at all. Predictive sleach even if it speaks before you are ready you can correct it. If it means being able to hold a somewhat normal conversation would be a life changing breakthrough.


GeoSol t1_j5uyv11 wrote

Especially when you tie those failing to cognitive decline and dementia!


duffmanhb t1_j5whxsn wrote

I heard a lecture from a big tech CEO (who I wont mention because Reddit hates him and don't want to derail), who believes the future is going to have GPT-style fine tuned models for individuals eventually. To the point that others will simply be able to engage with your AI clone to get 80% of the answers they'd need from you directly, massively increasing productivity. Instead of having to take your time, they can just talk to your AI clone to get guidance or answers. He also believes there will often just be AI to AI conversations, where you can set the topic of conversation and have the two AI's make decisions... Again, with the belief that the AI will be so advanced, the overwhelming majority of times, it'll be incredibly an accurate reflection of real life.

He also theorized that future dating apps will be like this, sort of like that Black Mirror episode. Where we'd have our AI clones just interact with EVERYONE on the app, and then the app would determine who we best get along with, optimizing our matching ability.


ktElwood t1_j5xu0p4 wrote

Combine that with BD Human like robots and the need to have poor people is gone.

Sterilize them through food and medications (Stargate)

Kill them with a deadly virus (Rainbox Six)



PokerBeards t1_j5uazvp wrote

Phrases like “I don’t own my home” and “it’s just tough”.

You couldn’t write this dystopian shit if you tried.


ViennettaLurker t1_j5vfaps wrote

"As a society, we now have the ability to tap into your mind to extract what you intend to say from it"

"Do you have the ability to give me a house?"


"Can I have one?"



unbannabledan t1_j5uq9cc wrote

It’s terrifying to think that ALS patients are this mentally functional but absolutely trapped in an unusable body. It has to be one of the worst diseases.


phoenix6315 t1_j5uufho wrote

My dad had a specific form of ALS that presented with frontotemporal dementia. To this day, I don’t know if it was a blessing or a curse. He seemed to have a very limited understanding of what was happening and eventual outcomes.


Themasterofcomedy209 t1_j5xi4eo wrote

Probably both, my grandfather had dementia and while it’s definitely partially a blessing he had this carefree childlike state of mind, he was still aware chunks of his life were missing and couldn’t get them back


BoogerVault t1_j5v0i38 wrote

Also consider that this woman was VERY lucky to be alive after eight years. Most patients are completely locked in after just a few years. She seems able to breathe on her own, and even retains some muscle control. Extremely rare.


ArcherBTW t1_j5xp0g9 wrote

My grandpa made it like 25 years pretty much fine until the 26th took everything. It was horrible.

There are many people in this would I would say I despise with every fiber of my being, but I would wish this on none of them.


BoogerVault t1_j5ykfwj wrote

Sorry to hear that, and it sounds really rough. Hopefully research will make some significant progress in the near future.


Good_nuff t1_j5twgvw wrote

62 words per minute is awesome!

I had an ALS patient who used a monitor that had eye tracking tech and it was so so slow. I felt awful for her.


chinpokomon t1_j5vzmi7 wrote

This was actually why Swype was initially created. It wasn't the gesture typing input method for touchscreen devices, it was designed as an accessibility aid for someone with impaired motor skills.


SouitUp t1_j5u7uon wrote

I thought the dude on the picture was loading a Minecraft world


CondiMesmer t1_j5uch4b wrote

Dang, OSU players are really stepping up their game


MildlyInfuria8ing t1_j5uoj0x wrote

Selfish post here - I work for a homecare/hospice/rehab department who has recently picked up ALS patients. I was asked to see if there was some sort of secure encrypted messenger service that would go between a patients device and our clinical secured domain. We have an EMR based communication tool, but the family members also use it to coordinated care so they see everything that is sent by the patient. The problem is, the patients caretaker is not a great person and so the patient wants a personal communication tool.

Anyone know of something like this that is aimed toward security and business, rather than social media crowd?

Or better yet, maybe a contact at an ALS foundation I could poke to see about this?


Trixles t1_j5vfkni wrote

It's relatively simple to use, and it works on Android, iPhone/iPad, and Windows (not sure about MacOS on a desktop though, but definitely their smaller devices).

It's not like enterprise software or anything, but it could definitely be used by a patient and their medical staff to communicate things in a secure manner.


MildlyInfuria8ing t1_j60zg4y wrote

That looks like a good option. I'll reach out to them and see how well they've documented their security. Thanks!


f10101 t1_j5w5ejv wrote

Have you tried finding a way to speak to an experienced product specialist at your EMR software provider about this? It may be something that could be achieved in your existing solution with an elegant configuration change.


MildlyInfuria8ing t1_j60yznp wrote

Thays a good idea. Our EMR is global so they may very well have a solution for this. Thanks!


Elefohtoo t1_j5vbttr wrote

I lost my dad to ALS and by far the hardest part for him and our family was his loss of ability to speak. My dad was an intelligent, quick-witted, funny guy whose sense of humor was based on dropping the perfect one liner in a conversation that got the whole room rolling with laughter. When ALS started to rob him of his voice, it also stole his ability to participate in conversations. He'd still try but everyone had to ask him to repeat himself several times until we understood. As his disease progressed, he simply stopped trying. We all knew he was still in there, but just unable to connect with the outside world.

I wish this technology could have been around for him to see. It would have been nothing short of a miracle to have been able to unlock those thoughts that were trapped inside. You really don't fully appreciate the power of communication until you lose it.


ALS_can_suck_a_cock t1_j5vzyia wrote

One of the last things to go is speech in ALS (note: Usually, Bulbar ALS takes it first, but it kills the fastest.). My wife went from kind-of mumbling to gibberish in four months. I could only understand my name and it took talking to her over and over and over to get what words were. It was infuriating on both sides. She died at the end of that four month period.

With that said, there are "gaze" computers like TOBII by Dynavox that bridge this gap but they're still slow unless you're crazy-fast with your eye gaze settings. My wife tried lowering her gaze settings and it just caused problems for her at a certain point, but she always felt it was still extremely slow.

I welcome this technology, but it won't be approved for ALS usage by any insurance company or the VA unless it's a pilot program and you have a TRACH, which a lot of pALS do not want as there is no right to die in a lot of states... It's simply too expensive right now to think that this will even be a thing for ALS in the next five years.

They (insurance companies) won't even approve Radicava after you activate hospice because "it extends life" 1-2 months. Medicare won't approve a power chair after hospice, some (most) VA sites won't approve Radicava due to cost (although they'll quote one study against many that says it does work).

I LOVE this tech, but this is a money thing and almost no one with ALS will see it in use. Its a god damn shame.

Edit: added the note about Bulbar ALS.


Delicious-Tachyons t1_j5utr6a wrote

That's fascinating. If i got ALS i'd want to still be able to communicate.

I wonder if it communicates everything? Like if the guy is sitting there talking to someone and all of a sudden he says "that nurse has a nice butt"?


PyrrhaNikosIsNotDead t1_j5vceil wrote

If only getting patients the access to treatments were easier. I can understand why a brain transplant is a big ask, but I implore you all to look into the difficulty that ALS patients are having getting access to a drug called “Nurown” which has shown to help some patients in a way never thought possible before


Baltimore_Jill t1_j5w2sui wrote

Why do you think the FDA declined to consider Nurown?


PyrrhaNikosIsNotDead t1_j60cy9d wrote

This may be naive of me, but I don’t think it’s as simple as politics or money, although there are certainly people who believe so and honestly I don’t blame them.

I think the FDA’s processes are genuinely disconnected from the reality of ALS.

Here is the bottom line on Nurown: it has halted, and even reversed the progress of ALS in some patients. That is an indisputable fact. And a miracle. A Jesus curing leprosy miracle.

Why is the FDA taking a hard stance? That disconnect between their processes and what ALS actually is. The ways to measure ALS are not an exact science, but the FDA treats the statistics coming from those measurements as one. Unfortunately, this hard stance means all the patients fighting for access are likely to die waiting, as many before them have.

It’s a hard topic to follow…I’ve seen many go from diagnosed, become active in supporting it to have a chance, and die before they will have a chance.

But if we have undeniable proof that Nurown works in some patients, and the science to say it works in 20%, why not give ALS patients the same chance that patients in other terminal diseases like cancer get? That is, quicker and more expanded access to drugs based on the fact that they have no real options.

And to more specifically answer your question, I think the company filed for approval for patients with all stages of ALS, and the FDA took a hard stance and said no. That’s just my theory. They met on the 11th to discuss the rejection, and my guess is the company will refile for the subgroup of patients they have the more concrete evidence for and then it will be approved.

The whole topic is a huge rabbit hole but if you want to know more please ask, I can pull some sources on the science part as well because it can be a little hard to find if you don’t know what you are looking for


SarahMagical t1_j5vqfn7 wrote

Interesting that it reads neurons in motor cortex and not the speech centers further upstream, I wonder what the pros/cons are for each, and the rationale behind the decision.

Does this mean that people who lost their ability to speak a long time ago—who may have somewhen forgotten how to produce speech—would get worse results from this technology.


Bicdut t1_j5w1k4n wrote

How big of a leap is this from being applied to an exosuit for total mobility?


ArcherBTW t1_j5xpar6 wrote

Exosuit may or may not function but I can guarantee a spelling bee success it takes your vocal cords with it when it explodes


FeynmansMiniHands t1_j5u778x wrote

It's really exciting to keep seeing these results come out of BrainGate


dsac t1_j5u9ozp wrote

faster than most people can type, that's pretty impressive


Zealousideal_Gold114 t1_j5uoavf wrote

I've worked with ALS patients for 12 years AMA. Also if you have als pm me would love to help you with any endeavor ❤️


SuperBeeboo t1_j5vbs9p wrote

How do we know the machine was saying what they actually wanted to say.


Saloncinx t1_j5vzwls wrote

It sounds like her brain is more so controlling a mouse that's clicking each letter of a keyboard. More or less anyway. It's not just straight up transcribing her stream of thoughts automatically


ACCount82 t1_j5w3zno wrote

People with disabilities like this usually have some way of communication - think Stephen Hawking and his speech synthesizer that was wired to respond to minute muscle movements. So there's a way to communicate with them - but it's difficult and incredibly slow.

Those experimental brain implants? They have the potential to enable people with those issues to use a speech synthesizer reasonably fast, drive a wheelchair, or use a smartphone or a PC about as fast as you and me would.

Of course, it's still an early tech. It's unstable, the implants don't last and a lot of the uses are still being figured out. But if the core issues are resolved, it's going to be a game changer for many people with disabilities.


chinpokomon t1_j5vz3d4 wrote

Assuming 4.7 letters as the average word length, 62 words per minute is the equivalent of 350 characters per minute when you include spaces and punctuation.


chewie8291 t1_j5wfy70 wrote

Average spoken words per minute is 150. Average words type per minute is 40


duffmanhb t1_j5wfzy3 wrote

Why is Neuralink the only company who realized they can avoid the massive wires and hardware sticking out of people's head just by using bluetooth? I don't get why so many of these companies still use these bulky fucking wires that look ridiculous when a wireless solution is better for everyone.


nearfar47 t1_j5x698h wrote

LOL there are 3 mfgs of Deep Brain Stimulation hardware (primarily for Parkinson's Disease, but also essential tremor) in the world.

Of those, Boston Scientific IS bluetooth. But its app only comes for iOS, not Android. So you have to switch to Apple.

Bluetooth has security problems though. These brain implants have drivers that could harm the brain if firmware tells it to do that, and the firmware can be updated wirelessly. The battery unit is implanted in the shoulder and charged wirelessly. So a targeted hack could be deadly, and you couldn't turn it "off" without a box cutter and pull it out all Terminator-style.

Hypothetically, bluetooth has systemic vulnerabilities, and someone could write a script searching for BT IoT devices to spread their virus and/or conduct a DDS attack. This could infect a stranger's PC at the airport, it goes looking for BT devices, finds your brain implant with a security vulnerability and takes it over.

That's highly unlikely, but in 2019 someone demonstrated an implanted defibrillator could be reprogrammed remotely with code that could be fatal (not demonstrated on a living person). The mfg didn't consider protection from intentional attacks to be part of the design spec, that was absurd when it was designed. It had checksums and all to make sure it was receiving valid data and checked the whole image, but that's not security. Someone just had to reverse-engineer the radio traffic and how to get it to load it as a firmware or settings update.

Since then, that mfg (not Boston Scientific) changed to a proprietary protocol with a communicator bridge that has to be very close to the implant to communicate. But that bridge does work off bluetooth AFAIK, but the communicator has to be physically over the implant to communicate.


duffmanhb t1_j5y0bmf wrote

I mean, considering these are all in the early prototype and experimentation phases, I don't think you need to worry about a hacker creating a bespoke virus specifically for the 5 people on the planet who would have one.


Diamondsfullofclubs t1_j5y2d2v wrote

Why develop a tech that may be widely used and easily compromised in the future?


duffmanhb t1_j5y3gte wrote

Changing data transfer mediums is the insanely easy part. The hard part is the tech itself. Switching over to a custom secured wireless protocol is just a minor hardware and software change. In the meantime, just use something wireless, and clamp down on security once it's ready for market.


nearfar47 t1_j5yg6gt wrote

It could be incidental. Bluetooth isn't a really high secure protocol, and has known security vulnerabilities. It's hypothetically possible a mfg could get a standard, well-accepted off-the-shelf IP block that has an unknown security hole.

Someone writes a virus for Windows machines that activates bluetooth and attempts to reprogram any and all bluetooth devices within its short range. A few devices using this IP can be hijacked to spread the virus to other bluetooth-enabled Windows machines, or use its uninfected Windows drivers' call-home-for-updates function redirected to another IP# to join a DDOS on a bank later.

Say the DDOS won't actually work on the pacemaker's call-home-for-updates because the driver has no such capability. But the attack did try to rewrite the device's bluetooth firmware and partially succeeded. Then the implant gets junk data from its bluetooth firmware block, the virus sees it's a common Corex M4 core and reprograms its firmware in an attempt to turn it into a DDOS slave, which renders the core functions broken. Its hardware peripherals like the pulse generator get random writes to its registers when this malware mistakenly thinks these addresses went to a peripheral for a long-range radio transceiver for an AirTag. Now the pulse generator is stuck with random, nonsense values which could immediately send out deadly signals to the amplifiers.

Is it likely? I'd say no. But it's a farfetched, yet plausible scenario.

Funny fact- all these devices currently have hard fault modes where if the lead voltages don't make sense or a hard fault occurs, the device will go into "POR" mode- Power On Reset- which, for safety- will not try to reboot with suspicious hardware problems but lock it up until you bring yourself in for service diagnostics and get re-enabled.

With one model, going shopping in a foreign country with different radio frequency use outside the US's FCC-approval spectrum use the device was tested for, they walked out of the store through the anti-shoplifting portal and its radio pulses confused the code with unexpected lead voltage, suspected a transistor output stage fault, and thus shut down the amps and went into POR, disabling their device on the spot and their Parkinson's Disease symptoms returned immediately in full force with the implant disabled. And it will stay that way until you find one of the mfg's authorized service nurse-practitioners with the specialty hardware to go into diagnostic mode, download the logs, check the amps for self-test and watch it if causes the person to start physically glitching out, and if everything's OK the nurse can send the command to return it to normal operating mode.

But a hack could have bricked that bluetooth service interface, requiring surgical replacement under RMA. Or the bluetooth module firmware could still have malicious code that the service mode didn't see, checked out the device as ok without surgery and re-enabled, but the malware will later try to rewrite the main firmware all over again.


caritadeatun t1_j5x20fs wrote

The frauds of facilitaded communication and its popular variants RPM and S2C should be concerned about this technology


felixmuc93 t1_j5xgkkl wrote

I think I‘d be saying „kill me“. Interestingly, that’s rarely reported as one of the things those people given the opportunity to communicate again choose to say. I‘m wondering if they really experience some quality of life, or if it’s just not reported


ObtainSustainability t1_j5z7zz8 wrote

I lost my father to ALS fifteen years ago. There are so many challenges to this disease, but the hardest may have been losing the ability to communicate. This is an amazing work of compassion.


CocoDaPuf t1_j5wtugw wrote

The secret? This patient possessed the capacity for truly uber micro.

The brain implant was not prepared for this epic rush. GG.


Dont_Jimmie_Me_Jules t1_j5uvuli wrote

All ethical, moral, and possible Geneva Convention violation implications aside—I wonder if this technology could be used to extract valuable information from an uncooperative enemy captive in a super-secret, Rendition-style black budget program. Like a modern-day truth serum or something, but with brain electrodes instead of some antiquated method like water-boarding. 🏄🏻‍♂️

No, no, not that kind, silly; this kind: 🥷🏻🪣💦😵‍💫


ieraaa t1_j5ujvrb wrote

Can the patient use all words he or she pleases or is the software contaminated with cancel culture and doesn't allow you to say certain things


dam0430 t1_j5uxmmc wrote

Oh shut the fuck up, y'all can't have a single conversation without forcing politics into it.