NASA device ‘reads minds’ by sensing nerve signals


March 19, 2004
Health, Space, Technology, Uncategorized

NASA scientists have begun to computerize human, silent reading using nerve signals in the throat that control speech. In preliminary experiments, NASA scientists found that small, button-sized sensors, stuck under the chin and on either side of the ‘Adam’s apple,’ could gather nerve signals, and send them to a processor and then to a computer program that translates them into words. Eventually, such ‘subvocal speech’ systems could be used in spacesuits, in noisy places like airport towers to capture air-traffic controller commands, or even in traditional voice-recognition programs to increase accuracy, according to NASA scientists. “What is analyzed is silent, or subauditory, speech, such as when a person silently reads or talks to himself,” said Chuck Jorgensen, a scientist whose team is developing silent, subvocal speech recognition at NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “Biological signals arise when reading or speaking to oneself with or without actual lip or facial movement,” Jorgensen explained.From NASA:NASA DEVELOPS SYSTEM TO COMPUTERIZE SILENT, ‘SUBVOCAL SPEECH’

NASA scientists have begun to computerize human, silent reading using nerve signals in the throat that control speech.

In preliminary experiments, NASA scientists found that small, button-sized sensors, stuck under the chin and on either side of the ‘Adam’s apple,’ could gather nerve signals, and send them to a processor and then to a computer program that translates them into words. Eventually, such ‘subvocal speech’ systems could be used in spacesuits, in noisy places like airport towers to capture air-traffic controller commands, or even in traditional voice-recognition programs to increase accuracy, according to NASA scientists.

“What is analyzed is silent, or subauditory, speech, such as when a person silently reads or talks to himself,” said Chuck Jorgensen, a scientist whose team is developing silent, subvocal speech recognition at NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “Biological signals arise when reading or speaking to oneself with or without actual lip or facial movement,” Jorgensen explained.

“A person using the subvocal system thinks of phrases and talks to himself so quietly, it cannot be heard, but the tongue and vocal cords do receive speech signals from the brain,” Jorgensen said.

In their first experiment, scientists ‘trained’ special software to recognize six words and 10 digits that the researchers repeated subvocally. Initial word recognition results were an average of 92 percent accurate. The first subvocal words the system ‘learned’ were ‘stop,’ ‘go,’ ‘left,’ ‘right,’ ‘alpha’ and ‘omega,’ and the digits ‘zero’ through ‘nine.’ Silently speaking these words, scientists conducted simple searches on the Internet by using a number chart representing the alphabet to control a Web browser program.

“We took the alphabet and put it into a matrix — like a calendar. We numbered the columns and rows, and we could identify each letter with a pair of single-digit numbers,” Jorgensen said. “So we silently spelled out ‘NASA’ and then submitted it to a well-known Web search engine. We electronically numbered the Web pages that came up as search results. We used the numbers again to choose Web pages to examine. This proved we could browse the Web without touching a keyboard,” Jorgensen explained.

Scientists are testing new, ‘noncontact’ sensors that can read muscle signals even through a layer of clothing.

A second demonstration will be to control a mechanical device using a simple set of commands, according to Jorgensen. His team is planning tests with a simulated Mars rover. “We can have the model rover go left or right using silently ‘spoken’ words,” Jorgensen said. People in noisy conditions could use the system when privacy is needed, such as during telephone conversations on buses or trains, according to scientists.

“An expanded muscle-control system could help injured astronauts control machines. If an astronaut is suffering from muscle weakness due to a long stint in microgravity, the astronaut could send signals to software that would assist with landings on Mars or the Earth, for example,” Jorgensen explained. “A logical spin-off would be that handicapped persons could use this system for a lot of things.”

To learn more about what is in the patterns of the nerve signals that control vocal cords, muscles and tongue position, Ames scientists are studying the complex nerve-signal patterns. “We use an amplifier to strengthen the electrical nerve signals. These are processed to remove noise, and then we process them to see useful parts of the signals to show one word from another,” Jorgensen said.

After the signals are amplified, computer software ‘reads’ the signals to recognize each word and sound. “The keys to this system are the sensors, the signal processing and the pattern recognition, and that’s where the scientific meat of what we’re doing resides,” Jorgensen explained. “We will continue to expand the vocabulary with sets of English sounds, usable by a full speech-recognition computer program.”

The Computing, Information and Communications Technology Program, part of NASA’s Office of Exploration Systems, funds the subvocal word-recognition research. There is a patent pending for the new technology.



NASA device reads minds by sensing nerve signals

4 Responses to NASA device ‘reads minds’ by sensing nerve signals

  1. noname October 18, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Are you still a live?

  2. Anonymous August 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    I am also a target of this crime. I am certain that NASA is involved because they are participating in the group stalking that I am experiencing, and one of my friends who works at NASA was looking me up and down repeatedly at a meeting recently, then she ran away when I approached her to chat.

    I was reported by a CIA Black Op because I reported to the police that my computer had been hacked into by a blogger who was bragging to me that he sees everything. After that, he started using my kids names and saying I am “dead”. Shortly after that, I was being followed everywhere, and a DARPA contractor moved in across the street. Now, the family that rents from me has lost the only job they have (he had it for 10 years), and we are all being assaulted with radiation. They have four children, and we have two. The blogger is now saying things like it’s so sad to watch a family being tortured.

    This is unbelievable. Even my doctor knows about this and he is being forced to make appointments for me to have unnecessary tests done. This has to stop now before more innocent Americans are targeted by the FBI and local citizen police. They are going to kill us all and NOBODY WILL HELP US!!! IN MORGANTOWN WV!!!

  3. Anonymous May 18, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    I sent this e-mail to the FBI over 20 times, and to CERT at least 2-3,. of couse Akamai technologies is in front of the FBI,. I would personally like to warn anyone interested in cybercrime or computers (particularly young people) about this hard to belive weapon that has almost killed several of my friends.

    This is the letter:

    Hello, my name is ____________, a computer scientist, now victim of high tech organized crime,. I have been trying to get to some help for sometime,. but am constantly blocked by electronic communications (crashing cell phones, e-mails with no response). I have talked to fake call takers who were supposed to be CIA, and got into screaming matches about my mental health. I am an applicant to several cybercrime fighting units, such as CSIS (Canada) and RCMP, as well as companies like general dynamics, and boeing. I am a grad from the university of NB (Canada), and was debating my masters in cryptography under prof. Rod Cooper. A few years ago, I called the FBI looking for information on the Church of Scientology (while living in LA) who were activly trying to recruit me, possibly for hacking purposes. They were very interested in “what I wanted”. Since my call to the FBI, an attack began on my life using very high tech satalite equipment. There equipment is capable of long range subvocal speech extraction, which determines unspoken phonetic information from the larnyx nerves. (similar to http://www.theaudeo.com) Their system is also capable of transmitting quiet sound into various places, including my home. They attempted to get me commited to a mental institution by transmitting recordings that said “kill little children, kill little children”,. the idea is to tell the police about these sounds, then their proceedure is to certify you, for being dangerous because you here voices that tell you to “kill little children”. I did not fall for this trick, I have been shown by doctors to have no mental illness. On the internet the victims are being hidden undeneath propaganda about “targeted individuals” at least 2 of my friends have almost died from this attack. please help us. please warn everyone about their sound weapon, no matter if it’s also an elections cheating device.

  4. Anonymous March 22, 2004 at 9:08 am #

    I remember reading (where, dammit?) that people would quietly peep into the Venerable Bede’s cell and try to make out what he was doing. He would sit there for hours staring at a book, turning a page from time to time, but he couldn’t be reading, because they couldn’t hear a thing and his lips weren’t even moving…

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