AI brings researchers one step closer to restoring speech in people with paralysis – CBC

New technology is ‘big advance’ in interpreting brain signals to let someone speak, say researchers

Aug 24, 2023

With a Toronto Blue Jays cap on his head, William Johnson turns to his wife Ann and asks how she’s feeling about the baseball team.

“Anything is possible,” responds Ann, 48, who lives in Regina.

Her husband quips back saying that it seems like she doesn’t have a whole lot of confidence in them.

At this, Ann giggles, pauses and says, “You are right about that.”

It’s the first conversation the couple has had in 18 years with Ann’s own voice, recorded as part of a clinical trial in California Ann is taking part in.

When she was 30 years old, Ann had a brainstem stroke that left her unable to speak. She was diagnosed with locked-in syndrome, meaning she can’t talk and has limited movements.

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