I hate words like “unprecedented”

Brain Scanner Can Tell What You’re Looking At:

Scientists have developed a computer model that predicts the brain patterns elicited by looking at different images — a possible first step on the path to mind reading. Image: University of California at Berkeley Tell me what you see. On second thought, don’t: A computer will soon be able to do it, simply by analyzing the activity of your brain. That’s the promise of a decoding system unveiled this week in Nature by neuroscientists from the University of California at Berkeley. The scientists used a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine — a real-time brain scanner — to record the mental activity of a person looking at thousands of random pictures: people, animals, landscapes, objects, the stuff of everyday visual life. With those recordings the researchers built a computational model for predicting the mental patterns elicited by looking at any other photograph. When tested with neurological readouts generated by a different set of pictures, the decoder passed with flying colors, identifying the images seen with unprecedented accuracy. “No one that I know would ever have guessed our decoder would do this well,” study co-author Jack Gallant said.

Guess I’m going to have to trudge down to the library and actually read the #@$@# thing to find out what the numbers are.

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