Can you imagine a reality where computers can visualize your mind? No? Sounds far out? But, it’s now closer to becoming a reality. Yes, Japanese researchers from ATR Computational Neuroscience Labs have now developed an AI machine that can take a look into your mind and visualize what you are thinking, that too with an uncanny degree of accuracy.
In their research paper titled ‘Deep image reconstruction from human brain activity’, scientists were able to replicate an image based on what a person is looking at or even just thinking about – though not exactly the same as you see naturally, but the hazy rendering of your thoughts.
This next generation of AI takes help of the brain waves (MRI data) to determine the images you are looking at or thinking about, and then it creates images of it. In simple words, it’s reading our minds without actually knowing what we’re thinking.
To train their AI, the researchers have conducted two types of experiments: image presentation experiments and an imagery experiment. The image presentation experiments consisted of four distinct session types, in which different variants of visual images were presented (natural images, geometric shapes, and alphabetical letters). In the imagery experiment, subjects were required to visually imagine (remember) one of 25 images that were selected from those presented in the test natural image session and the geometric shape session of the image presentation experiment. Over the course of 10 months, they collected brain activity data in real-time and also by making the human subjects visualize what they had seen in the past.
There is still scope for improvement for the AI which lacks perfection when it comes to reading our minds. It could possibly be helpful to those in a coma or some type of vegetative state and it might be also used to help people with difficulty in speaking.
However, not everyone is thrilled about the potential of this technology. They feel that it takes the invasion of privacy to entirely new levels, and it’s frightening to think of all the ways that this type of technology could be abused.