‘Like hearing an old friend’: Woman speaks for first time since stroke thanks to AI-powered tech – CTV

Aug. 28, 2023

In 2005, a rare brainstem stroke robbed Ann Johnson of her ability to speak at age 30. The mother of two from Saskatchewan hasn’t been able to communicate naturally with her loved ones ever since.

But last week she was seen making history in a California lab, chatting with her husband thanks to AI-powered technology that can translate her brain signals into speech. Researchers also synthesized a voice that sounds like her own and displayed a digital face that she could use to convey emotions and expressions.

“The goal of all of that is just to restore more full communication,” said Dr. Eddie Chang who is a neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco.

Johnson, who was a teacher at the time of her stroke, was diagnosed with from what’s known as locked-in syndrome, a brain condition that causes paralysis of nearly all muscles except those that control the eyes. She has since regained some movement but cannot speak.

Read more: https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/like-hearing-an-old-friend-woman-speaks-for-first-time-since-stroke-thanks-to-ai-powered-tech-1.6537335

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