Re-Creating Pink Floyd In The Name Of Speech

For people who have lost the ability to speak, the future may include brain implants that bring that ability back. But could these brain implants also allow them to sing? Researchers believe that, all in all, it’s just another brick in the wall.

In a new study published in PLOS Biology, twenty-nine people who were already being monitored for epileptic seizures participated via a postage stamp-sized array of electrodes implanted directly on the surface of their brains. As the participants were exposed to Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In the Wall, Part 1, the researchers gathered data from several areas of the brain, each attuned to a different musical element such as harmony, rhythm, and so on. Then the researchers used machine learning to reconstruct the audio heard by the participants using their brainwaves.

First, an AI model looked at the data generated from the brains’ responses to components of the song, like the changes in rhythm, pitch, and tone. Then a second model rejiggered the piecemeal song and estimated the sounds heard by the patients. Of the seven audio samples published in the study results, we think #3 sounds the most like the song. It’s kind of creepy but ultimately very cool. What do you think?

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