Sharmistha Karmakar
Sharmistha Karmakar
Innovative Techie. Loves to learn new things and turn great ideas into reality!

Mind Reading Using Artificial Intelligence

Mind Reading Using Artificial Intelligence

AI has always been stealing the limelight, and here we are today, with AI we can read thoughts based on brain activity or as we call it Mind Reading.

Human Brain, quite a complex organ but capable of doing wonders. The power to think and picturize the world of fantasy while reading a book, the power to make decisions are just to name a few. 86 billion neurons are at work, each carrying around 100 millivolts but just enough for the crucial tasks. Detecting these impulses, interpreting them and using them to interact with a device, and successfully displaying the thoughts on the screen.

Techie Tricks

Well, before we dive in, let’s get ourselves familiar with a few terminologies-

  • Brain-Computer Interface (BCI): These are devices that enable its users to interact with computers by means of brain-activity only. It measures activity of the Central Nervous System, converting the data into artificial output and improves natural CNS output, thus making changes in the interactions between the CNS and Environment.
  • Convolutional Neural Network (CNN): or ConvNet is a Deep Learning Algorithm, used in image recognition and processing that is specifically designed to process pixel data, assigning importance to each and every aspect to be able to differentiate from one another.
  • Electroencephalography (EEG): physiological method of choice to record the electrical activity or the voltage fluctuations generated by the brain via electrodes placed on the scalp surface, usually a noninvasive method.
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): measures brain activity by detecting changes that are associated with the flow of blood.
  • Deep generator network algorithm: it captures faces, eyes, expressions and textual patterns and produces high resolution images, which are further used to decode.

The spice of History

In the 1970s, the University of California, started research on brain–computer interface (BCI), ultimate research and development continues to be primarily on neuroprosthetics applications that can help restore damaged sight, hearing, and movement. By the 1990s, the first neuroprosthetic devices had already emerged, but till this time BCI could not detect things accurately, rather detected slightest changes in frequency patterns and energy. Finally, in 2004, researchers demonstrated how a computer could be controlled using BCI.

Brainy Brain

Human brain is well developed and advanced and can be divided into several sections, but majorly the limbic system and the neocortex region. The limbic system is responsible for primal urges and needs of the body including eating, drinking, etc. and the neocortex is the most advanced area responsible for logical functions that makes an individual good at languages, technology, business and philosophy. Every time the brain receives or generates a stimulus, 86 billion neurons are at work. These signals from excited neurons, though very weak and variable, are used for BCI.

How does it work?

First, the signals are actively generated by presenting stimuli to the subject through visual, auditory, olfactory, etc. and reading the brainwaves thus generated. Second step, detecting signals mainly using EEG and fMRI, to track the blood flow and the brain waves. This data is then filtered to get rid of unwanted noise such as grinding of teeth, movement of eyes etc.

It takes up data from the scan and interprets what the subject was thinking when the data was collected, with Complex Neural Network converting the collected data into image format. The machine is pre-trained about human brain thinking strategy and hence makes a solution based on it. The collected data is passed onto the DGN algorithm, which produces high resolution images with an efficiency of more than 99%. Finally, the processed images get displayed.

Where will it be helpful?

Imagine a future, where we are surrounded by electronic gadgets and operate them the way we wish to, merely just by thinking. Listing some of the present and futuristic uses of mind reading-

  • This technology can be used in online shopping and education systems
  • Military Systems- there are many sectors that work with crucial data regarding a country’s development, safety and security, in order to recruit members they can undergo mind reading test and thus revealing true intentions. Also, it can be used to reveal the true intentions of an assailant.

  • Medical- mind reading technology can give the essence of speech to the speechless, movement to the paralyzed and overall help impaired and handicapped individuals with their needs.
  • Mind reading devices can communicate with patients in comma, this can be of great help to bring them back through systematic communication.

  • It can be used in semi-automated vehicles, mobiles, keyboards, mouse, house systems etc which are controlled just by thinking.


Mind reading enables us to peek into other people’s mental state and predict behaviors, emotions and mental capabilities and decode brain patterns underlying thinking. It provides immense hope to people with difficulty in communication due to some disease or injury. But at the same time, reading one’s mind may lead to ethical concerns, as mind cannot be controlled and can be of cognitive liberty, privacy, and self-conception and expression. We believe that seamless, non- obtrusive and implicit mind reading capabilities in mainstream interfaces will open doors for new possibilities to build intelligent and effective interfaces.


Note : Utmost care has been taken to credit the original authors/sources and to make these as apt as possible.

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