He if you can think it, you can speak it!

Ran across this post from Stephen Downes about a device that can capture nueral impulses sent the vocal chords and interprets them according ot 150 preprogramed words that are then retransmitted as speech. So...if you think about saying it, the computer will say it! It's obviously in its infant stages, but how cool is that? The below video was taken from a recent Texas Instrument conference in Dallas this year. Created by a company called Ambient, it has tremendous promise for those suffering with ALS or other degenerative diseases that affect the vocal chords.

But....like all good inventions, it's a bit depressing to think about how our depraved world will misuse this one! For example, I was really excited when the MS Surface computer came out. I was telling everyone how cool that would be to use in the classroom for virtual math manipulatives, painting, photograph, etc. Then in a comment on the video some guy wrote, "They say there is a camera underneath the surface that reads where your fingers are on the screen(?)....so does it record your fingerprint(?), is that fingerprint sent to some database?Who gets hold of that info? Seems your movements can be tracked 24/7 if you keep using these things." Wow...thanks for ruining that invention for me dude!

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