Think of the words whirling around in your head: that tasteless joke you wisely kept to yourself at dinner; your unvoiced impression of your best friend’s new partner. Now imagine that someone could listen in.
On Monday, scientists from the University of Texas, Austin, made another step in that direction. In a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the researchers described an A.I. that could translate the private thoughts of human subjects by analyzing fMRI scans, which measure the flow of blood to different regions in the brain.
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