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Revolutionary New Technology Enables Paralyzed Woman to Regain Speech

Paralyzed Woman Speaks Again Thanks to Revolutionary New Technology


In a groundbreaking achievement, a paralyzed woman has regained her ability to speak with the help of a revolutionary new technology. Ann, who suffered a debilitating brainstem stroke at the age of 30, can now communicate using a talking avatar equipped with facial expressions. This incredible feat was made possible through the interception and translation of Ann’s brain signals into text, which are then converted into speech and displayed on the avatar. The success of this innovation has raised hopes for the development of a comprehensive system that enables speech from brain signals in the near future.

Elaboration and Expansion

1. Intercepting Brain Signals:
Ann’s brain signals, which would have typically controlled muscles in her tongue, jaw, larynx, and face, were intercepted using a paper-thin rectangle of 253 electrodes implanted onto her brain’s surface. These electrodes covered the critical area responsible for speech and transmitted the intercepted signals to a bank of computers via a cable connected to a port fixed to her head.

2. Decoding and Translation of Brain Signals:
The computers are capable of decoding the intercepted brain signals into text at an impressive rate of 80 words per minute. To achieve this, Ann underwent weeks of training to teach the system’s artificial intelligence algorithms to recognize her unique brain signals for speech. By repeating different phrases from a 1,024-word conversational vocabulary, the computer learned to associate specific brain activity patterns with sounds. Instead of recognizing whole words, the researchers created a system that deciphers words from phonemes, the sub-units of speech that form spoken words. This approach significantly enhanced the system’s accuracy and speed, making it three times faster.

3. Reproducing Ann’s Voice:
In order to give Ann’s communication a more natural and authentic feel, her voice was reproduced using an audio recording from her wedding day before the stroke occurred. The team developed an algorithm to simulate Ann’s voice and animated the avatar’s facial expressions using software that replicates muscle movements on the face. With the customized machine-learning process, the software seamlessly meshed with the signals sent from Ann’s brain, enabling the avatar’s face to mimic true emotions like happiness, sadness, and surprise.

Related Facts

– The technology used in this breakthrough was developed by Dr. Edward Chang, a renowned neurosurgeon and chair of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
– Dr. Chang and his team have been working on this technology for over a decade, and this success marks a significant milestone in their research.
– The system’s accuracy, speed, and vocabulary play a crucial role in enabling users like Ann to communicate almost as fast as in a normal conversation, enhancing their ability to participate in daily interactions.

Key Takeaway

The ability to restore full and embodied communication to patients with conditions such as paralysis is a significant achievement with vast potential. The interception and translation of brain signals into speech not only give individuals the power to express themselves but also opens doors to improved healthcare, rehabilitation, and quality of life for people with speech-related disabilities.


The groundbreaking success in helping a paralyzed woman regain her ability to speak through innovative technology is a remarkable milestone in the field of neuroscience. This breakthrough paves the way for further advancements that have the potential to revolutionize the lives of those who have lost the ability to communicate verbally due to various conditions. Such achievements reaffirm the potential of technology to bridge the gap between the mind and the body, offering hope for a better future for individuals with speech disabilities.

Denk Liu
Denk Liu
Denk Liu is an honest person who always tells it like it is. He's also very objective, seeing the situation for what it is and not getting wrapped up in emotion. He's a regular guy - witty and smart but not pretentious. He loves playing video games and watching action movies in his free time.

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