News: Eight years ago, the patient lost the ability to speak due to ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which causes progressive paralysis. Now, after the voluntary introduction of a brain implant, the woman was able to quickly speak phrases at a speed close to normal speech.
Why it matters: Even in an age of keyboards, thumb typing, emojis, and Internet abbreviations, speech remains the fastest form of human-to-human communication. Researchers at Stanford University say their volunteer has broken previous records by using a brain-reading implant to speak at 62 words per minute, three times the previous best.
What’s next: Although the study has not been officially reviewed, experts have hailed the results as a significant breakthrough. The findings could pave the way for experimental brain-reading technology to leave the lab and soon become a useful product. Read the story in its entirety.
— Antonio Regalado
Resolving to live the Year of the Rabbit to the fullest
Zei Yang, reporter from China
Last Sunday was the Lunar New Year, the most important holiday for Chinese and some other Asian cultures. This should be an opportunity for us to reboot and take advantage of new opportunities.
In that spirit, I recently revisited some of my favorite China-focused MIT Technology Review stories from the past year and went back to the people I interviewed. I asked them if they had resolved any troubling issues and what they were hoping for in the Year of the Rabbit.