Have you ever wanted to see what’s going on inside your head? I mean, literally see it? Well, you soon might be. Japanese scientists have come up with an AI tool that turns your brain activity into hi-res images.
They have proposed a new method based on a diffusion model which reconstructs images from human brain activity obtained via functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. The results are eerily accurate, and they make me think it’s time to start making a tinfoil hat.
[Related reading: This “mind-reading” AI turns your thoughts into photos]
Researchers at the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences at Osaka University, Japan have come up with the model. In a paper published in December 2022, they explain how it works. What amazes me is that they didn’t need to train or fine-tune the AI models to create any of the images. Instead, they use a new method “based on a diffusion model (DM) to reconstruct images from human brain activity obtained via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI),” according to the paper. “More specifically, we rely on a latent diffusion model (LDM) termed Stable Diffusion.” They write that the model they propose is “a promising method for reconstructing images from human brain activity.” It also provides a new framework for understanding diffusion models.
The first thought I had in mind is something I’ve always imagined, ever since I was a child: let’s call it a “dream projector” or a “dream TV.” In other words, it’s a machine that would let me view my own dreams once I wake up. And I have really trippy dreams, I’d love to watch many of them again! Or, even better: imagine combining your “dream TV” with this technology that lets you step into your memories. This way, you could step into your dreams! Or maybe I’ve watched Black Mirror too many times.
My childish vivid imagination sees this technology as a step towards the creation of something like this. But in reality, it could be used for medical purposes and unraveling some of the many mysteries of the human brain. If nothing else, it’s a demonstration of how far technology has come in a pretty short time.
Now, where’s my tinfoil hat?