A study has suggested that new devices with the potential to interpret human thoughts into digital texts may soon make the conventional QWERTY keyboards history.
It showed that such mind reading could be possible by using brain scans, which would identify certain thoughts with certain words.
"The basic idea is that whatever subject is on someone's mind - not just topics or concepts, but also emotions, plans or socially oriented thoughts - is ultimately reflected in the pattern of activity across all areas of his or her brain," Live Science quoted Matthew Botvinick, a psychologist at Princeton University's Neuroscience Institute, as saying.
Botvinick worked on using brain-activity patterns to reconstruct images that volunteers viewed during a brain scan. But the research soon inspired them to try expressing certain elements in words rather than pictures.
First, they used a Princeton-developed computer program to select 40 possible topics based on Wikipedia articles containing words associated with such topics.
They then created a color-coded system to spot out the probability of certain words being related to an object that a volunteer thought about while reading a Wikipedia article during a brain scan.
In one case, it showed that a more red word was more likely to be associated with 'cow' in a person's mind, while a bright blue word suggested a strong link to 'carrot', with black or grey words having no specific association.