MIT Media Lab is working on a wearable device called AlterEgo, a non-invasive, wearable, peripheral neural interface that allows humans to converse in natural language with machines, artificial intelligence assistants, services, and other people without any voice – without opening their mouth, and without externally observable movements – simply by articulating words internally.

The feedback to the user is given through audio, via bone conduction, without disrupting the user’s usual auditory perception, and making the interface closed-loop. This enables an human-computer interaction that is subjectively experienced as completely internal to the human user – like speaking to one’s self. AlterEgo wearable system captures peripheral neural signals when internal speech articulators are volitionally and neurologically activated, during a user’s internal articulation of words. This enables a user to transmit and receive streams of information to and from a computing device or any other person without any observable action, in discretion, without unplugging the user from her environment, without invading the user’s privacy.


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