The movie that brought us Mel Gibson swanning around in fishnets has received Hollywood’s lazy rework treatment. Now, 19 years and a few choice anti-Semitic and misogynistic Gibson quotes later, Taraji P Henson plays a sports agent who, after drinking some peyote and crack cocaine-laced tea from Erykah Badu, is able to hear men’s inner thoughts. However, according to a study published on January 29 in Scientific Reports, soon it won’t take a premise of illegal hallucinogenics and a head injury to read minds. In the paper “Towards reconstructing intelligible speech from the human auditory cortex”, researchers at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute have detailed their continuing research and results in their mind-reading technology that hopes to synthesise speech from brain activity. “Reconstructing speech from the human auditory cortex [the sound-focused part of the brain] creates the possibility of a speech neuroprosthetic [a brain-synthesised voice apparatus] to establish dir...

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