If you’ve ever worried that in the future, robots would be able to read your mind (and eventually take charge of this mess), then you might want to look away now.
This is because Japanese scientists have created an artificial intelligence (AI) that can see into your imagination and predict what you will think next.
In the past magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning had allowed scientists to decode the mental contents of your brain - including what you think, what you remember, and what you are dreaming.
But with this methodology they were not able to decode novel visual images that were not presented during the MRI session.
Now a new technique, from the University of Kyoto, is permitting researchers access to your imagination, and what it will think in the future based on a system of visual categorisations.
Yukiyasu Kamitani, leader on the study, published in Nature Communications journal, explained: “When we gaze at an object, our brains process these patterns hierarchically, starting with the simplest and progressing to more complex features.”
Based on this premise, subjects were shown natural images from the online image database ImageNet, spanning 150 categories.
The scientists then used signal patterns emitted by a neural network deep within the human brain, to predict more visual features.
They recorded a high degree of accuracy.
The researchers say that this could pave the way for more advanced brain machine interfaces, Kamitani said: “Bringing AI research and brain science closer together could open the door to new brain-machine interfaces, perhaps even bringing us closer to understanding consciousness itself.”