Yasmina Kattou / Photo credit: MOHAMAD ALSAYED / ANADOLU AGENCY / ANADOLU AGENCY VIA AFP 07:45, June 16, 2023, modified at 07:46, June 16, 2023Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, quadriplegic people – equipped with electrodes on part of their brain – see their hopes of moving again become clearer. Scientific teams are preparing to launch a new clinical trial to restore the function of the hands and arms of test patients.
A few weeks ago, a paraplegic had resumed walking alone on his two legs after spending twelve years in an armchair. A feat possible after several years of research thanks to artificial intelligence. The scientific teams are preparing to launch a new clinical trial to restore the function of the hands and arms in quadriplegic patients.
After implanting electrodes on the parts of the brain that control the movements of the arms and hands, electrical signals are generated whenever the patient thinks about moving one of his limbs. Artificial intelligence then intervenes to decode each signal, and transform it into movement.
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A brain-machine interface
"We are forced to create a specific model for each patient that actually identifies the unique characteristics of the brain's electrical signal. The patient, if we ask him for example to move his arm, we will record the cerebral electrical activity corresponding to this movement he tried to make. And this trajectory is decoded in real time thanks to the model," explains Guillaume Charvet, scientist responsible for this brain-machine interface.
The more the patient uses the brain-machine interface, the more he feeds this artificial intelligence. He thus creates himself the data that allows the computer to interpret thoughts to transform them into movement, and to be able to move again.