Japanese Researchers Create First AI-Generated Mental Images Based on Brain Activity

A supplied image of a leopard shown to research subjects and the image reconstructed by generative artificial intelligence using brain activity.
A supplied image of a leopard shown to research subjects and the image reconstructed by generative artificial intelligence using brain activity.
NATIONAL INSTITUTES FOR QUANTUM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY / VIA KYODO

AI Tech Transforms Human Brain Activity into Mental Images

Japanese scientists have announced a breakthrough in creating pictures from thoughts using artificial intelligence. Researchers from the National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology, another national institute, and Osaka University have successfully generated mental images of objects and landscapes based on human brain activity.

The new technology, known as “brain decoding,” allows scientists to visualize what people are thinking by analyzing their brain activity. The team was able to produce rough images of a leopard, complete with recognizable features like its mouth, ears, and spotted pattern. They also created images of an airplane with red lights on its wings.

This advancement has potential applications in the medical and welfare fields. The research findings were recently published in the international scientific journal Neural Networks.

Previous studies demonstrated that it was possible to reconstruct images seen by individuals using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). However, those studies were limited to specific areas, such as alphabetical letters.

The Japanese scientists took a step further by developing a technology that measures and quantifies brain activity. They combined this with generative AI and predictive techniques to draw complex images. The researchers exposed participants to 1,200 images of various objects and landscapes, analyzing the relationship between brain signals and images using fMRI. The same images were then used to teach the generative AI to recreate the corresponding brain activity.

The implications of this technology go beyond creating pictures from thoughts. The team believes it could be instrumental in developing communication devices and gaining insights into the brain mechanisms involved in hallucinations and dreams.

This groundbreaking research opens up new possibilities for understanding and utilizing the power of the human mind, paving the way for potential innovations in medical science and technology.

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Source(s): The Japan Times

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