Unbabel's Halo: A Leap Towards Superhuman Communication Capabilities

NNicholas August 18, 2023 2:43 PM

Unbabel, a language translation services startup, has developed Halo, a brain-to-computer interface that uses EMG systems and AI to aid communication. This new technology not only has potential applications in healthcare, particularly for patients with ALS and Cerebral Palsy, but also brings us a step closer to an age of superhuman communication capabilities.

Unbabel Ventures into Brain-to-Communication Interfaces

Unbabel, a renowned language translation services startup, is venturing into uncharted territory with brain-to-communication interfaces. The primary driving force behind this innovative endeavor is their innovation team, headed by Paulo Dimas. The team's core mission focuses on enabling enterprises to effectively communicate with customers across different languages, which led them to think beyond conventional methods and explore different avenues of communication.

In their quest to revolutionize communication, Unbabel's team decided to develop an EMG (Electromyography) system. EMG, commonly used in medical diagnostics, measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to nerve stimulation. The team saw EMG as a less noisy, non-invasive alternative to EEG (Electroencephalogram) systems. They began to see EMG as a potential gateway to direct brain interaction, which could transform the way we communicate.

Bridging AI and EMG for Revolutionary Communication

Unbabel's team took a groundbreaking leap by linking an EMG system with Generative AI. This unique combination decodes the wearer's physical response to a word and translates it into a real message. For instance, if a user thinks of a word, the system captures the physical response, correlates it with the thought, and converts it into a comprehensible message. This innovative blend of AI and EMG opens new avenues of communication, where thoughts can be transformed into words without the need for speech or movement.

Halo: A Potential Game-Changer for ALS Patients

Unbabel's groundbreaking invention, dubbed 'Halo', is currently under extensive testing with potential end-users, including patients suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). These tests have shown promising results, with users being able to communicate effectively using the brain-to-computer interface. The device, which measures muscle responses and converts them into words using AI, presents a revolutionary way for ALS patients, and potentially others with communication difficulties, to express themselves.

While Halo is already showing promising results, the team at Unbabel has set their sights higher. Their ultimate vision is for Halo to provide superhuman communication capabilities, aiming for a target of 150 words per minute. To put this into perspective, the average person speaks at a rate of 120 to 130 words per minute. This leap in communication speed could greatly improve the quality of life for many and open new possibilities for human interaction.

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